Flatbreads Bake-off (I)

TeckPoh's picture

We want to see lots of [s]ciabatta,[/s] focaccia, naan and other leavened flatbreads. Here are some previous threads with formula. If you come across others in the forum, pls link...I might have missed them.

[s]Ciabatta - Dom's, Jeremy's, Robert's blog [/s]*

Focaccia - Bill's, Jeremy's (oi! you forgot to give the formula), Dom's

Hang on! That's not all. Please also introduce the accompaniment for your bread....stews, curries, roasts...with, recipes and pix, yum! Mental note to self - not a month to go on a slimming diet. 

* Dom suggests that ciabatta gets a thread of its own due to its not necessarily flat shape.
604 users have voted.


LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2008 September 2
I think I'll make Naan sometime this month.  This is the recipe I used last time I made Naan.  Now I just have to convert it to sourdough.

Naan (Indian Flat Bread)
Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post 
Makes 6 large breads. 
2/3 cup hand hot milk (about 95°-100°F) 
2 teaspoons extra fine sugar (I used regular sugar) 
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast (I used wine yeast) 
3.75 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of baking powder 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus a little extra 
2/3 cup plain yoghurt, lightly beaten 
1 large egg, lightly beaten 


Put milk in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast. Stir to mix. (I didn't stir mine because it would damage the wine yeast) Set aside for 15-20 minutes or until frothy. (I stirred mine at this time and let it sit another 20 minutes). 

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, the yeast mixture, the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the yoghurt, and the egg. Mix and form a ball of dough. 

Empty the ball of dough on to a clean work surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, until it is smooth and satiny. Form into a ball. Pour about 1/4 teaspoon oil into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk. 

I started up my cooker about 30 minutes later. I had the vents very open and when I was cooking the thermometer was in the 500°F range. 

Punch down the dough and knead it again. Divided it into 6 equal balls. Roll out the first one into a tear shaped naan. My first one wasn't thin enough so it was a very good fat Naan. I put the first on a cookie sheet and placed it on the fire for 5 minutes. While it is cooking I rolled out the other 5 Naans. After 5 minutes pull the Naan from the cooker and flip it over on the open grill. This will brown the top of the Naan and put grill marks there. At this time notice if the Naan is over or under cooked. I ended up cook the rest at 4 minutes and flipping them over on the open grill for 30 seconds. 

Eat them while they are hot! They were very good.
LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2008 September 2
Hey that is a picture of my Naan!
Ok this is the sourdough pancake recipe that I use.  I think this is the right place for it.
Sourdough PancakesReply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post 
1 cup sourdough starter 
1 cup of all-purpose flour 
1 cup of warm water 
1 large egg 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1 table spoon granulated sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1) Place the sourdough starter in a nonreactive mixing bowl, add the flour and water. Stir and leave, loosely covered, overnight in a warm place. 
2) The following morning, stir the mixture and remove 1 cup, adding it to your sourdough starter in the refrigerator. 
3.) To the sourdough mixture, add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. 
4.) Use like you would your normal pancake batter, pour it on to a hot griddle cook, flip, cook, and EAT. 
SourDom 2008 September 2
good idea TP,

there is a video somewhereon the site of some of Graham's friends making Pita with leftover sourdough.

I'm not sure that ciabatta counts as a flat bread - mine isn't usually flat;
I reckon save that for a separate thread

our recent fougasse probably are though!

I'm going to be out of the country this coming weekend, so will be a bit slow to contribute to the thread, but I look forward to reading all of the contributions of others

celia's picture
celia 2008 September 3

Today's batch of focaccia, made on Dan Lepard's recipe (using a mix of sourdough starter and yeast).  This is our standard bread for school lunches!

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 3
As always, Celia. The crumb is really beautiful.

I started to make a pseudo-chinese chives pancake today, but, unexpected errands threw my schedule awry. So, I've popped the dough into the fridge. Tomorrow morning.

p.s. Thanks for the SD pancake recipe, LD. Looks good.
LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2008 September 4
Celia beautiful looking focaccia.
TP I have my starter out getting ready to be made into pancakes for tomorrows breakfast.  :)  That was my original recipe and remembered that I didn't like the baking soda in the mix so I leave it out.
SourDom 2008 September 4
Photo a bit blurred, and Naan a bit bronzed, but you get the idea

I had found a couple of recipes
wholewheat naan
sourdough naan

I have a copy of 'The Art of Vegetarian Cooking' which is where the second of those recipes comes from, so I used that - and adjusted the timings quite a lot - a bit more like the Reinhart recipe used in the other link

night before
Mix dough

120mls starter (I didn't have that much - probably only 80ml)
60 ml vegetable oil
120ml (soy) yoghurt
mixed together
355g flour
2tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kalonji/Nigella seeds
plus a bit of extra water (about 50ml) to get the right consistency

Couple of short kneads then in the fridge overnight

This morning
Divided into 8 - rounded
Left out all day (covered) to rise

This evening
Turned oven up to max
Rolled and stretched out breads
put on oven stone for 3-4 mins, then under grill briefly to colour

The results were nice
very tasty naan
quite a lot more filling that the flat breads that I often make (chapati/roti)
need a bit more work to get then right I suspect
Didn't puff up as much as they could
Left a few of them too long under the grill
Very easy to make for dinner

Don't know how well they would work on a flat pan as opposed to doing in the oven?


PS eaten with rice and a potato, chickpea and tomato curry

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 4

This thread is coming along really nicely...with mighty fine breads from all.

Dom: I reckon cooking your naans in a pan will work just as well.

Here's some chives pancakes I started making yesterday. Off my head...

1 C starter
2.5 C flour
2/3 C boiling water
1/3 C cool water plus ice-cubes
1/2 C chopped chinese chives
sesame oil
sea salt

I mixed the flour with boiling water, not quite enough to mix it all together..and, hot! Because I was afraid the hot dough would cause premature death to my beasties, I then added the cool water plus a few ice-cubes, then only I added the sourdough starter. Some quick kneading. Bulk-fermented with only one stretch and fold. Kept overnight in fridge. Formed into balls after some warm-up in the morning. Roughly flattened into rectangles, sprinkled with sea salt, then chopped chives. Rolled up into a cylinder, then curled into a snail shell. Rested for 2 hours. Flattened as thin as possible. Fried in an un-oiled pan, but drizzled with a little sesame oil on each side. I just love to press at the air bubbles and watch it grow.

Quite good, indeed. Hubby said it would have been perfect with dhall curry...but we had it with kimchi...and chicken pies.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2008 September 5
The sourdough batter that was mixed up over night had bubbles all over the top.  When I went to mix the sugar in the batter deflated.  I made this batch without any baking soda but next time I'm going to try adding 1/4 of a teaspoon.
[img]http://djardine.mooo.com/albums/Bread/P9040894.JPG[/img]My goal is to see if someday I can come close to the Sourdough pancakes that a lodge in Alaska made.  They were the best I have ever had.  Somehow the cook got them to be twice as thick as any pancake I have ever seen.  They were also a little bit tough and chewy.  I think I have finally figured out the tough and chewy part, now it is getting the taste and thickness down.  I think I'm getting close.
There are some interesting Naan videos on youtube.
Dom thanks for the info on the whole wheat Naan I'm going to try that.
celia's picture
celia 2008 September 6
Inspired by this wonderful clip from the Food Lovers' Guide, I tried to make a version of Afghan bread today.  Basically just made a very wet sourdough, long rise, and then worked out flat and then baked on a stone.  Oh, and I made it with spelt flour, just for fun.

With Palestinian za'atar

With caraway seeds

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 7
Love your sense of adventure, Celia. By the way, is it only me? I can't seem to see pix of your Afghan breads, Celia.

Paddy, chinese chives are much fatter and flatter, and said to have medicinal values. *wink*

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2008 September 8
I can see both of Celia's bread.
Celia don't you have to tell us how to make those breads or something about the background of them?  I have never heard of them before.
I have about 1kg of extra dough today and am going to try to make pizza with it.
celia's picture
celia 2008 September 8

Wicked looking pizza, Duane, particularly the first one!

Lavosh is a sort of crispbread, usually served with cheese, I think.  It was a bit of an 80s phenomenon - I used to see it in breadbaskets in restaurants.  No idea about its origins.
PaddyL 2008 September 8
It's an Armenian flatbread, not always crisp.  Usually served, according to my Armenian sister-in-law, with a large plate or bowl of fresh herbs.
Millciti's picture
Millciti 2008 September 9
Here, in the Midwest US we have been getting large soft square lavosh - great to do wrap sandwiches with.  They are usually about a foot square and are usuallly from one of the same companies that provide hummus here.  I get them at one of the local warehouse clubs, but I am pretty sure they are made by Cedar - they make a tasty & wholesome line of Mediterranean products.

The texture of the soft ones look a lot like TP's Chinese pancakes but I'm not sure if they are levened or not.  We usually eat them with hummus, olive oil, veggies and greek cheese. 

Your crisp ones look really yummy Celia

I have some Mediterranean Grilled Flatbreads to post, something that I created this summer, but haven't figured out what they really are... Focaccini or Naan...?  Sort of Naan but with cooked potato, Greek yogurt and Olive oil in the dough.  Maybe I'll just post them later, and let you all decide. 

Its amazing how many different types of flatbreads there are really.  I think most originated as natural yeast or sourdough, so they convert pretty well.

Sorry but I will have to post them Tuesday... This is my really long day at work/school.
celia's picture
celia 2008 September 9

I have some Mediterranean Grilled Flatbreads to post, something that I created this summer, but haven't figured out what they really are... Focaccini or Naan...?  Sort of Naan but with cooked potato, Greek yogurt and Olive oil in the dough.  Maybe I'll just post them later, and let you all decide. 

Its amazing how many different types of flatbreads there are really.  I think most originated as natural yeast or sourdough, so they convert pretty well.

Sorry but I will have to post them Tuesday... This is my really long day at work/school.[/quote]

Really looking forward to seeing them!  Thank you and Paddy for the headsup on lavosh...
PaddyL 2008 September 10
It's a book by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, and it's wonderful.  There are recipes for all sorts of different flatbreads from all over the world, plus recipes for dishes to accompany the breads.  I used to make my brother a loaf of their Tibetan Barley Skillet Bread when we went to his place in the country, then I decided to give him and his wife the book.  I'd hazard a guess that the reason there are so many flatbreads would be the general lack of proper ovens, or the sort of ovens we have in the Western world.
Panevino 2008 September 16
Hi all, here is a photo of a couple of focaccia I make all the time.  The one on the left is made with a smear of pesto, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of cheese.  The other one is with local soft goat cheese, black olives and caramelized onions with olive oil.  The dough is a naturally leavened white dough with a little rye mixed in,

SourDom 2008 September 16
These are my flatbreads for this week -made to go with a dish of brown rice, peanut sauce, marinated tofu etc

(My wife's comment on the first picture was that they look like feet!)

This was a surprising success for a very improvised recipe.

200g sourdough from fridge (so very liquidy)
150g water
250g flour (plus a bit extra because it was all very moist)
5g salt

Mixed/kneaded a couple of times in the morning, and then left out for several hours
one fold, and then in the fridge until an hour or two before dinner

At dinner I cut off some pieces of this very moist dough (sprinkled liberally with flour), flattened and stretched it very roughly into some very unpromising looking circles/ovals, and then whacked them onto a dry tawa (pancake pan)

As is reasonably obvious from the blurry photos, they puffed up nicely
Cooked for a couple of minutes till bubbly and risen, then flipped over
brushed a little melted margarine on the cooked side - another couple of minutes then taken off the heat.

I also put a couple in a hot oven on a stone - though I don't think they were as nice (crunchier on the outside, reasonably well risen - perhaps could have taken them out sooner)

They remind me of turkish bread, though I don't know that they are all that authentic.


celia's picture
celia 2008 September 16

Tony, Dom, they look wonderful!  Tony, that's a particularly impressive spread - what size are your trays?  You've inspired me to try topped focaccias.

Dom, I'd like to try your recipe - what hydration do you keep your starter at?  Could you taste the sourdough?  It seems like a very flexible recipe - maybe one you could make and keep in the fridge in advance, and just hack of some and bake when you needed it?  (A bit like Mick's pizza dough recipe)


Panevino 2008 September 16
Hey Celia, the pans are about 24" by 8".   I really like topped focaccia and tonight I will make one with the same dough as above, but with a light tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, chunks of roasted garlic, olive oil and a nice grana padano cheese.

SourDom 2008 September 16
thanks Celia,

my starter is usually at 100%

this recipe was indeed inspired by Mick's pizza recipe. I am sure that other permutations would work - this was just what I tried yesterday

the breads were not particularly sour - there was a detectable sourdough flavour, but reasonably subtle.

Tony - your foccacia looks amazing!

celia's picture
celia 2008 September 21

Spelt/wheat sourdough, standard recipe and handling.

Some of it I made into flatbreads (fried in the pan, thanks Dom!)

And the rest became pizzas:

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2008 September 22
All of a sudden I want to eat pizza, maybe next weekend.  Celia great looking bread and I just know it tastes great.
Croc 2008 September 23
celia is that potatos on one of your pizza? if it is i would love recipe for that one if it isn't too much trouble.
you boil them first?

celia's picture
celia 2008 September 23

Croc, potato pizza is now the house favourite - we have to make two every time we do them, or the boys complain!

We do it in two ways.  If we're using a parbaked base, we'll microwave the thinly sliced potatoes just for a little while to parcook them. 

The pizza above was baked on a raw base, so all we did was thinly slice the peeled potatoes (we used Royal Blues and sliced with a mandoline) and laid them out over the base, without overlapping too much.  Then we dizzled some garlic oil (minced garlic in olive oil), a little salt and some Italian spice mix over the top, and baked.  They're dead easy, and really moreish - a bit like eating potato chip pizza.  The secret is to get the slices really thin, otherwise they won't cook through properly.

Enjoy! :)

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 September 23

Turkish pide I learned to make at my friend Dilara's restaurant in Istanbul. Some delicious aubergine salad served with yogurt and black olives!

Croc 2008 September 23
[quote=Jeremy]Bloody hell I can't remember how to post a picture!



when you do post (or edit) hit the far right icon that got little pic with plus sign on it then paste url to your picture there

Croc 2008 September 23
thanks celia for the potato pizza details, i'm polish and love my potatos so this will be instant hit with me :D
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 23

Hullo? You're not going to tease and run away! Formula, please!!! Gosh...what a mouthwatering ensemble of condiments. Is that some eggplant thingy? Yummy!! BTW, have been enjoying your Istanbul exploits...great stories.
Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 September 23
Tease indeed, you got to wait, it's all going to be in a post coming up!
Meanwhile, here is an article about my visit and my friends restaurant, hopefully someone Turkish can translate? Though I know it's basically a description about what I was doing there and what sort of food I cook, where I work in NY, etc...

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 23
I get the gist of the article.

"Abracadabra! Now you see Jeremy Shapiro, celeb chef, in NY, the next you see him in Istanbul, cooking up a storm."

Say, you look like a turk. Start taking up some language classes, and they won't be able to tell you apart from locals the next time you jet over.

TP, soon2B-ex-censor.
Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 September 23
Sure a Turk with a polo shirt! I would go back if I could tomorrow, what a place, amazing, great peeps great food! The article basically says that I did a cultural exchange with Dilara Erbay, cooked Frenchafied food with a NY twist. How I met Dilara, through Mehmet Gürs, a star chef in Istanbul who I also interviewed etc....

Censor indeed, your the hardest working baker here, bless you!

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 25

Yes, I did go to your site yesterday and it's in my to-do list for next week. Still tying up some loose ends at the moment. Great stories, I hope there are more?



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