Having freshly made homemade breads is such bliss.
However, breads can take a awful long time to prepare even though a lot of the time is down time. Think about it: it takes about 3 hours or more just to make a traditional white loaf – to knead the dough, first time proof, second time proof, then bake.
There are some breads that require little slaving in the kitchen – allowing you to have your bread and eat it too. Breads such as quickbreads and flatbreads is the way to go.
While I love quickbreads, I think flatbreads is great because you can make it as fancy as you want to with the use of various toppings and dips. Like how Paul Hollywood made his version with camembert and quince paste.
I can only imagine how good it taste.
My version may sound pretty austere in comparison; while chili flakes and herbs flatbread may be plain and simple, it can be eaten with a dip or sauce that is wild and bold in flavours.
I had this with marinated olives in rosemary and garlic on one occasion and a greek-style tzatziki on another. Then on another day, I dreamt of eating these flatbreads with some curry chicken, just like how you would have it with Indian naan. Lovely.
But if I want a flatbread to impress my guests at a dinner party, I may buy some camembert cheese and quince paste and give that one a go.
Makes 16 pieces of flatbreads
If you are new to bread making, making flatbreads is a good way to get started. It’s easy to make, takes relatively less time, and you don’t even need an oven to bake it as these are grilled over the stovetop. I used Paul Hollywood’s Camembert and quince flatbread recipe but in place of the cheese and quince paste, I used herbs and spices. It’s a good flatbread base to add your favourite toppings and flavours to.
500g bread flour
7g active dried yeast
+/- 300ml water (I used tap water)
^herbs and spices ( I used chilli flakes, dried thyme and rosemary and sea salt)
flavourless oil like canola oil/corn oil for greasing grill pan
- Place the flour, salt and yeast in a large free-standing electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Start the machine running on low speed while you gradually pour in three-quarters of the water. Leave to mix for a minute, then add the rest of the water or as much as you need for the it to form a nice ball of dough. Turn the mixer speed up to medium and mix for about ten minutes to make a smooth dough.
- Add in the flavouring (herbs and spices) at this stage.
- Proof dough: Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil, then cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Tip out the risen dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knock back. Divide the dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion of dough into a ball, then roll out each ball with a floured rolling pin to a rough disc about 12.5cm wide, about 0.5cm thick. The dough needs to be rolled out thinly so it will puff out as it touches the hot grill pan.
- Heat a heavy frying pan over a high heat. I use a cast iron grill pan. Very lightly oil the pan with a brush or kitchen paper. Cook the discs of dough, one at a time, for about a few minutes on each side. They will start to become puffy and develop golden brown spots all over.
- Keep them warm in a basket covered with a tea towel until you’re ready to serve them.
- These are best eaten immediately. However, you can make this in advance and reheat them in an oven before serving.
^Herbs and spices: You can use your favourite herbs and spices. Try using cumin, fennel or curry powder
*Serving suggestion: Dip these flatbreads in an Indian curry or a greek tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber dip) or hummus. Or serve these with soup or salad.