Almost every culture and civilisation in the known world has a variety of flatbread it is able to call its own, in one way or another. Though this particular flatbread is of no particular origin, it draws inspiration from the idea of flatbread as a whole. It seems that the whole point of a flatbread is that you can mould them to be whatever is desired – this recipe for Garlic and Herb Flatbreads remains within that tradition.
There are but two conditions for being labelled a flatbread; you must be flat and you must be a bread. Of course, this recipe calls for yeast, though that needn’t always be the case. There are also a number of ways in which one may choose to cook flatbread; generally the only criterion is that they are allowed to steam using the moisture they themselves contain. It is recommended that they are either fried or griddled – one doesn’t want them to burn, but a crispy corner never did anyone any harm.
In terms of flavourings, feel free to use whatever herbs you like in this recipe. However, when selecting your herbs bear in mind the flavour profile of the dish your bread is likely to be paired with. For instance, if they are to accompany a curry it would perhaps be best to incorporate a fragrant herb such as coriander. In any case, whatever your choice I’m sure these flatbreads will go down a treat!
Garlic and Herb Flatbreads
• 175ml warm or tepid water
• 7g sachet of fast-action yeast
• 1 tsp honey
• A generous pinch of salt
• 200g plain flour
• 50g rye or spelt flour
• 3-4 tbsp chopped herbs of your choice
• 1 clove of garlic, mashed
• 2 tbsp olive oil
1. In a jug, mix together the water, honey and yeast. Set this aside until frothy. Tip the flours, herbs and salt into a large bowl and mix. Tip in the frothy water mixture and bring together at first with a spoon and then by hand. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
2. Once the dough has been given ample time divide it into four balls and gently roll them out into circles. Brush a little oil onto a cast iron or thick stainless steel pan and cook each flatbread, one-by-one, over a medium heat. They are cooked when the bread springs back when pressed. One may have to re-apply oil between bread.
3. Mix together the garlic with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Once the flatbreads have been allowed a little time to cool brush them with the garlic and oil. Serve immediately.
Cost: Bread will never cost the earth to make, especially when it is as simple as these. Indeed, these delicious flatbreads, which are perfectly served alongside most dishes, should set one back no more than £1.10.