This small size makes it easy to roll out flatbread rounds. This was the kind used in my flatbread cooking class in India.
This sturdy multi-purpose tool gets lots of use in my kitchen. It makes easy work of cutting even pieces of dough.
This is perfect for keeping the flatbread hot and pliable. It works well for tortillas and pancakes, too. I also use it for serving side dishes at the table. The cover keeps the contents warm.
This is the perfect size and shape for cooking the flatbread. Use it on either the stovetop or grill.
This set has a size for every task. They nest compactly for easy storage.
The glass shaker has adjustable hole openings in the top--perfect for dusting surfaces with flour when making bread dough and pie crust. It also works well for powdered sugar, grated Parmesan, and crushed red pepper.
Heat safe to 600 degrees F and very strong and durable, this is my "everything" spatula.
This is a tool that gets lots of use in my kitchen. In this recipe, I used it for combining the dry ingredients.
Tongs are a "must have" in my kitchen. I use them daily. Here I used them for flipping the flatbread as it cooked.
simple ingredients ~ no yeast ~ make-ahead convenience
The flatbread recipe that I share further down in this post was inspired by the amazing food I enjoyed on a cultural and culinary trip to India. I will forever love India and cherish the memories of my 2 weeks in a country that is filled with friendly people, vivid colors, beautiful sights, rich history, and fabulous food. I so look forward to returning there someday.
A highlight of my India trip was meeting a remarkable group of women and traveling companions from Australia, England, and Canada. I had so much fun with these kindred spirits, and I can't wait until we can travel together again. Pictured below at the Taj Mahal (seated l-r) Debbie, Angela, Liz; (standing l-r) me, Shawna.
photo by Carol Ketelson
A Tour to Remember!
My India trip was planned and led by Carol Ketelson, owner of Delectable Destinations. This small, intimate tour was as good as it gets, and it's in no small part due to Carol's impeccable taste and attention to every detail. Delectable Destinations also has culinary and cultural tours to other places. (I can personally recommend her Italian Amalfi Coast trip--fabulous! I wrote about it here and here.)
Liz Schaffer, founder and editor of the exquisite travel magazine Lodestar Anthology, was among my fellow travelers. Angela Terrell, writer and photographer for the magazine (and Liz's mum) was with us, too. I felt so fortunate to be able to relive some of our India experiences through the artistry of their words and photos in the India edition of Lodestar Anthology that was published after our trip.
"Land of Many Flatbreads"
I don't remember a single meal in India that didn't include some version of flatbread. The variety was astounding. Naan is the most familiar Indian flatbread, but there are so many more varieties. Some were fried and others were cooked over an open flame or browned in a skillet. The flatbreads varied from round to square to teardrop shapes. Some puffed up and some remained flat, some were crispy and others were soft. All were delicious in their own way and were often served with an array of chutneys and dal. My India tour included a hands-on cooking class with Neha At Saffron Palate where we learned to make an Indian meal that included flatbreads--SO much fun!
Here are a few of the many flatbreads I enjoyed throughout my trip:
Naan for 25,000!
Among the most memorable flatbread experiences of the trip was at a Sikh temple in Delhi where 25,000 people are welcomed for free meals every day regardless of their race or religion. We toured their vast kitchens where we saw this group gathered around a giant griddle cooking naan. The dough was mixed, kneaded, and rolled in an adjacent room. It was amazing to see such a huge operation staffed completely by volunteer cooks each day. That's a lot of flatbread!
A simple flatbread recipe
Moving on to today's recipe, I'm sharing one of several ways I learned to make flatbread. I adapted this recipe using ingredients that are readily available at home in the States. With no yeast or rising time required, I can whip up a batch of flatbread at the last minute using ingredients that are staples in my kitchen. Yogurt is the only wet ingredient and it gives this flatbread recipe a pleasing texture and flavor.
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
Step 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
Step 3. Add yogurt and use a sturdy rubber spatula to it mix it thoroughly into the dry mixture, smashing the yogurt against the side of the bowl as you mix until it's fully incorporated. The dough will be thick, stiff, and sticky.
view on Amazon: wire whisk; stackable mixing bowls; rubber spatula
Step 4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and use floured hands to press dough together. Knead for about 1 minute until dough can be formed into a fairly smooth ball.
view on Amazon: adjustable shaker (for lightly dusting with flour)
Step 5. Use a large knife or bench scraper to cut the dough round into 8 even pieces. It's easiest to get equal portions by cutting it like a pie--first in half, then quarters, then eights.
view on Amazon: scraper/chopper
Step 6. Form each piece into a ball by pulling down the sides and pinching them together on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 15 minutes before rolling. (Watch the video below to see this in action.)
Step 7. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough balls into approx. 7" circles, 1/8" thick. Lift dough and re-flour surface as needed to prevent sticking. It's okay if they aren't perfectly round. In my cooking classes in India, we used small rolling pins like the ones pictured below. They are very easy to manipulate around the small dough circle. (If you only have a larger rolling pin, that will work, too.)
view on Amazon: small rolling pin
Step 8. Preheat a skillet or flat griddle on medium heat. (I'm using a cast-iron griddle.) Add 1 rolled dough round to the dry skillet (no oil or butter needed) and cook 1-2 min. until browned on the bottom and bubbles form on the surface. Flip it over and cook for about 1 minute until the bubbles have browned. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Wipe off the skillet with a damp paper towel if the flour residue on the griddle begins to burn.
view on Amazon: cast iron griddle; tongs
Step 9. Transfer the finished flatbread to a plate covered with a skillet lid to keep it warm and pliable. Or, wrap the hot flatbread in a dishtowel. (I use a tortilla warmer--pictured below. It's perfect for this.) Continue to stack and cover flatbread as it comes off the griddle.
view on Amazon: flatbread (and tortilla and pancake) warmer/server
HOW TO STORE AND HEAT LEFTOVER FLATBREAD: Store cooled flatbreads in a plastic bag or sealed container in the refrigerator. To REHEAT, spray both sides lightly with water and place on a hot, dry griddle/skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side. Or, wrap in foil in a 350-degree F oven for 5-10 minutes.
Thanks for the memories!
Thanks again to Carol at Delectable Destinations and my wild and crazy India traveling companions. So many treasured memories were made, unforgettable meals were enjoyed, and yummy new recipes were learned. Also, thanks to the warm and welcoming Indian people who did so much to make us feel at home in their beautiful country. To my readers: if you've never traveled to India, I recommend that you consider one of Carol's tours. You will have the time of your life.
Udaipur, India (photo by Carol Ketelson )
Make it a Yummy day!
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. With wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in yogurt until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and use floured hands to press dough together. Knead for about 1 minute until dough is a fairly smooth ball. Use large knife or bench scraper to cut into 8 even pieces. Form each piece into a ball by pulling down the sides and pinching them together on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 15 minutes before rolling.**
On lightly floured surface, use floured rolling pin to roll dough balls into approx. 7" circles, 1/8" thick (it's okay if they aren't perfectly round). As you roll, lift dough and re-flour surface as needed to prevent sticking.
Preheat skillet or flat griddle on medium heat. Add 1 rolled dough round and cook 1-2 min. until browned on bottom and bubbles form on surface. Flip over and cook for 1 minute until browned. Remove to plate, brush lightly with melted butter, ghee, or olive oil, if desired (optional). Cover with skillet lid or dish towel to keep warm and soft. (A tortilla warmer works well.) Cook remaining flatbread. Use a damp paper towel to wipe excess flour from skillet before cooking each remaining flatbread. Stack cooked flatbreads and keep them covered so they stay warm and pliable.
STORE cooled flatbreads in plastic bag or container. To REHEAT, spray both sides lightly with water and place on hot, dry griddle/skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side. Or, wrap in foil in a 350-degree F oven for 5-10 minutes.
**CAN MAKE AHEAD to this point. Place dough balls on plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Proceed to roll and cook flatbread as explained above. They can be rolled out cold, straight from the fridge.