I first posted this Super Easy Flat Bread years ago – in 2013! I remember how excited I was that there were several shares on Pinterest (any share still excites me *and thank you all for sharing over the years*)! But then I kinda fell in love with my Crusty Bread as I call my no-knead overnight artisan-style bread and I kind of forgot all about this old fave.
That is I forgot about it until every time I stepped into the store and saw the high price of so many simple breads! I was shelling out big $$$ for four to six little flatbreads all packaged up nicely. It didn’t matter if they were called Pita or Naan, or went by some other name, they were all pricey! Sometimes $4.99 to $6.99 a package. Yikes! If this is a problem for you, too, read on!
About Super Easy Flat Bread:
This simple dough recipe, almost as old as time itself, makes wonderful “flatbread.” Flour, yeast, salt, and olive oil. You can’t get more basic, easier, or inexpensive.
This recipe runs pennies, about 50 cents for eight. As I priced it out, it was pretty much the same as it was when I originally published this recipe in 2013! Check out the hints below on how to get the best pricing on baking items.
We have a hard time not scarfing down a piece or two of this flatbread as it comes off the griddle. If you’re gluttons like us, you might want to double the recipe. Besides warm, just as it is, we also like to spread it with roasted garlic, garlic confit (recipes coming), or my Spicy Tomato Jam.
You can serve Easy Flat Bread with anything you’d like to tuck into it. We loved making our Falafel Wraps (pictured above) with it and that photo shows the Falafel served on this flatbread. This Super Easy Flatbread will amaze you with my Chicken Shwarama, but keep in mind that dinner is a production already w/o adding homemade bread in! You could make it ahead, though!
Speaking of making ahead, leftover flatbread makes a perfect homemade “boboli” type crust; no “knead” to pay an arm and a leg – everyone can have their own individual pizzas. (I feel like I have to apologize for that pun…) I have a couple of recipes for flatbread pizza, my Cajun Chicken Flatbread Pizza and my Mushroom Ricotta Flatbread Pizza. I’m always making something up from what I have on hand, so use your leftovers and imagination and do the same. 🙂
Flatbread can also be made crispy by stretching it out more and cooking it a bit longer or by drying it in a hot oven after it’s been cooked. Cut it into wedges first or break it up once crisp and use it as chips for your favorite dips.
Variations on Super Easy Flat Bread Dough:
This is basically the same as pizza or pita dough, although pizza dough usually is a little stiffer, just add another half cup or so of flour to make two 10-inch or so rounds.
Pita is the same dough, only baked in a hot, hot oven where it puffs beautifully.
This same recipe also makes wonderful “Fry Bread.” Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a cast iron over medium heat, and stretch or roll your dough out into a five to six-inch round; a hole in the middle is traditional. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Press down the dough into the oil a bit as it cooks if needed.
Making Super Easy Flat Bread:
The first word of advice I have: unless you’re accomplished with dough, let go of any expectations of perfect rounds or ovals at first. Even when I was making this bread often, I had some rounds and some amoeba-shaped pieces of bread! It’s been a long time (as I redo the post and photos) and I’ve lost some of that “memory” that only comes from doing. It all tastes the same! Have fun with it, especially if you can make this with kids!
The recipe is easy enough and the dough is sticky but in the end, is a joy to work with. There are lots of little steps but they’re mostly quick.
- Mix with a big spoon. (1 – 4)
- Knead with hands in the bowl, turn out, and knead a little more. (5 – 8)
- Cover and rest for five minutes, and knead more until the dough is smooth but still a little tacky. Put in an oiled container, turn to coat, and let sit until doubled. It might be helpful to put a mark on the bowl at the initial dough height. (9 – 12)
- Turn out, divide dough, form into balls using your hand as a “cage” as you roll dough around. (13 – 16)
- Do this with all the dough, then flatten out and let rest, covered. (16 – 19)
- After about five minutes, shape the balls into discs just like you have probably seen people do when they form pizza. Push out with fingers, pick up and turn, letting the weight of the dough stretch it. Whatever works for you. (20 – 23)
Not shown: For fluffier flatbread, let dough sit, lightly covered, for about 10 minutes, and then cook. I personally always cook this bread on an oiled griddle. Lately, I’ve oiled the griddle and then misted it with water before I drop the formed disc on the griddle.
I’ve also found that with my limited counter space, once I form the rounds, I can set them on a floured piece of parchment and then cover them with a barely damp towel. I use the parchment to assist in placing the flatbread on the griddle by turning them over and placing them dough side down on the griddle, then peeling the parchment off. As long as the parchment is well-floured, they won’t stick even if you stack them two or three high. If they do stick, nudge the dough with a knife as you pull away the parchment.
Adjusting the Flavor & Seasoning:
There does seem at first glance to be a lot of salt in the recipe but don’t be alarmed! Once finished it’s perfect! Salt actually retards yeast so the two items work hand in hand. Change one, you should change the other.
Really good olive oil does make a difference in the taste of this bread. You might not notice it until you try one. Flavored oils can be used (once I used the leftover oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes and I still dream about it.) Herbs and/or spices may be added. Maybe garlic rosemary. Maybe Za’atar. Whatever suits your fancy! Yeah, I said that, lol…
How to Store and Reheat:
Store extra Super Easy Flat Bread tightly wrapped in the fridge or the freezer. Follow the instructions below to restore your flatbread to its original freshness & fluffiness.
To reheat, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the flatbread from the fridge or freezer on a tray or cookie sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with water and bake for three to five minutes. Add an extra minute or two and turn over once if starting from frozen.
Saving Money on Ingredients:
For decades I closely watched ads before every holiday, especially those known for baking. That would be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, especially. I’d cherry-pick the sales and pick up enough supplies to last until the next big holiday. It’s still a great strategy.
You’re likely to find pricing, if you’re diligent, below any discount store. If you’d like to see my picks on what to pick up on any given holiday and what to leave behind, check out Win at the Grocers. There are clickable links for all the holidays.
There are def some items you’ll really want to watch for during the holiday sales, though, and the biggest that comes to mind is yeast. Pick it up at a low and it in your freezer and it will literally last for years.Print
Super Easy Flat Bread
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 8 flatbreads 1x
- Category: bread
- 3 1/4 cups flour, white, whole wheat or a combination, divided
- 2 teaspoons of yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup of warm water (110 to 120 degrees F. but not over)
- additional oil and water for griddle
The Dough: Choose your method – by hand, by food processor or by standing mixer…
By Hand: Combine 3 cups of the flour, the salt, and the yeast in a work bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup of flour to use if needed. Measure warm water, add oil to the water. Add water/oil mixture to flour mixture and mix with heavy spatula or wooden spoon until most of the flour is moistened.
Working with a well-floured hand, knead in the bowl to continue to incorporate all the moisture. Turn out onto the counter. This will be a very sticky dough – use a bench scraper of a spatula to keep pulling the dough back up off the counter as you knead it. Knead for about five minutes, then place a bowl over the dough and allow to rest for about five minutes – this will allow the flour to absorb the moisture and make it less sticky.
After the rest period, begin to knead. This is a wet dough, but add more flour or water if necessary while kneading, trying to keep any additions to a minimum. Knead for about five to ten minutes, until the dough is smooth – it will still be slightly sticky.
By Mixer: Combine flour, yeast, and salt in the work bowl, using a paddle attachment and low speed, mix together. Add the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until ingredients are all incorporated. Change paddle out for a dough hook and mix for about 10 minutes on medium speed.
Add more flour or water if necessary, trying to keep any additions to a minimum. The dough should be pulling away from the sides – it will be a bit sticky to the touch but should be smooth.
Food Processor: Combine flour, salt, and yeast, pulse. With the motor running, add the oil and water. Process for five to six minutes. Add flour or water as necessary. The dough is finished as it starts to pull away from the sides and is smooth.
Note on food processors: If the food processor begins to struggle or heat up, watch carefully. Stop, turn out dough, and finish by hand.
Regardless of the method you choose to make the dough, you’ll proceed as below:
All Methods, Rising:
Place dough in oiled container and turn to coat. Mark the container with tape or a Sharpie, so you’ll know when it’s doubled. Place on the counter to rise for about an hour or in the fridge for an overnight (about 8 hour) rise.
If using the longer, slower refrigerator rise, check after the first hour or two in the fridge, If it has started to rise, press it back down to the original line. You don’t want to look in your fridge eight hours later to find dough has oozed out and taken over!
All Methods, Dividing:
Place dough on lightly floured counter, and with a serrated knife, cut into 8 equal pieces. Form the dough into balls. To form balls, use hands as a “cage” and roll the dough around on the counter. Flatten the balls.
If the dough resists flattening, don’t overstretch. Simply rest it under a damp cloth for about five minutes (if the dough is room temperature) or about 20 minutes (if the dough came from the refrigerator.) The dough will relax and be much easier to work with.
Feel free to weigh the dough and divide by a scale.
All methods, Shaping:
Place each ball onto a heavily floured surface and with floured hands, push the edges of the dough out with fingertips. Add flour as needed. Just like with pizza dough, feel free to pick up each round and let it gently stretch from the weight of the dough, turning several times. The dough does not have to be perfectly smooth but gently slapping the dough back and forth between two hands seems to help smooth it out.
If the dough becomes resistant and it doesn’t feel like it is stretching well, just cover it and let it relax before proceeding. Let the flatbread sit on the floured counter, uncovered, for about 10 minutes for fluffier flatbread. If desired, simply form one or two, then cook and continue in this fashion. See other hints at the bottom.
All Methods, Cooking:
Preheat cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil. Optional but recommended: After oil is hot and immediately before adding flatbread, mist griddle with water. Cook on the first side for about a minute. Turn with a thin spatula, mist again, and cook the other side for two to three minutes.
When the flatbread is first laid in the skillet, there will be a very small window of opportunity, like half of a second to make minor adjustments like nudging closed a small hole or pushing out an edge. Be very careful if attempting.
It may take one or two tries to get the temperature just right. Look for a cooking time of about three minutes total, which should be just long enough to get a few brown spots while cooking the dough through. If dough is on thicker side, you may want to turn again to ensure bread is cooked all the way through rather than cook too long on one side.
If you’d like to cook in the oven, preheat the oven and pizza stone or cookie sheet to 475 degrees F. Bake for about three minutes.
Additonal Hints: Try forming the flatbreads and placing them on squares of well-floured parchment. Simply turn them upside down onto the prepared griddle and peel the parchment off. If the dough sticks, work with a knife, pressing the dough down as you lift the parchment off.
Keywords: Bread, Flatbread