Similar to naan, pita, or chapati, this leavened flatbread recipe is easy to make and so versatile. Use as a wrap, pizza crust, or just eat warm from the pan!
Why you’ll love it: Warm homemade flatbread is so good. The ingredients are simple and there’s no additives or preservatives.
How long it takes: just under 2 hours (includes time for the dough to rest)
Equipment you’ll need: large bowl, heavy skillet
Servings: makes 8 flatbreads
Don’t you just love the versatility of flatbreads? Much more interesting than a plain tortilla wrap or a slice of bread, flatbreads just make whatever you put on or in them much more appealing. Whether it’s a pepperoni pizza or this delicious flatbread with bacon, mushroom, shaved asparagus, and ricotta, homemade flatbread just puts everything over the top.
It’s wonderful as a side, too. What meal isn’t made more perfect with the addition of freshly made yeasty bread? It’s delicious with this roasted romaine salad with crispy chicken and tomatoes. With homemade hummus, flatbread is a perfect dipper, too. Or wrap dill chicken salad in a homemade flatbread. Yum! It’s great with beef stew or chili, too, or anything with a little extra gravy or sauce.
Is your family as crazy about homemade pizza as mine?! Often I buy frozen balls of dough from the grocery store, but these flatbreads make an awesome pizza crust. Just add pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and favorite toppings for a delicious homemade pizza. My kids love the fact that each flatbread can be made into a personal pizza with exactly the toppings they like. My son loves piles of pepperoni, with just a little sauce and cheese.
You can feel good about the fact that homemade flatbread is without preservatives or additives. My friend Megan shared this flatbread recipe from King Arthur Flour and I love it! It takes a little time to make but it’s mostly hands off time. Your kids will enjoy participating in the bread making process and it tastes so good when it’s fresh and hot off the griddle.
About this flatbread recipe
With this flatbread recipe, you’ll be using the autolyse method. Mix part of the flour with boiling water and let it rest for half an hour. Why? This method fully hydrates the flour and activates the gluten. It reduces kneading time and results in more volume and a better crumb structure. Bread making is such a science! I am learning all the time.
This flatbread recipe works best with instant yeast. If you prefer to use regular active yeast, there are also instructions for that.
After this first step, you’ll add the remaining ingredients, knead the dough, and let it rise for an hour.
You’re up to the fun part! This is the part that kids really love to help with. Divide the dough into 8 balls. After the dough has another brief rest, you flatten each ball into a roundish shape. Irregular shapes are just fine; like my daughter learned in art class, these shapes are called “organic” shapes.
You don’t even have to turn the oven on to bake this bread so there’s no need to heat up your kitchen. You bake it on a griddle or hot skillet, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until it’s flecked with brown and slightly puffed up. How fun is that!
Not all flatbread doughs are the same; some contain yeast (leavened) and some recipes do not contain yeast (unleavened). Pizza dough is always made with yeast. If your flatbread recipe is made with yeast (like mine), it will work just fine for pizza, too.
Different types of flatbread can be found around the world, from many cultures. Flatbread is a simple bread that’s been made for centuries. Pita, focaccia, lavash, tortillas, roti, chepati, matzah, and naan are examples of flatbreads. For more about flatbreads, check out this article from The Spruce Eats.
Make It Your Own
- Think of naan, pita, wraps, or chapati. Homemade flatbreads would work just like any of those commonly used breads. Only better, because you make them yourself. It doesn’t get much fresher or wholesome than that!
- Flatbreads are delicious with cheese sprinkled on it and popped under the broiler for a minute or two, kind of an open-faced grilled cheese.
- Try buttering a warm flatbread and sprinkling a little cinnamon sugar on it for a breakfast treat. Or pile on scrambled eggs and bacon.
- Use it as a pizza crust with all of your favorite toppings piled on. Bake at 400°F for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how high you piled your toppings.
- Fill it with your favorite sandwich filling, whether it’s deli meat and cheese, or tuna salad, fold it in half and enjoy.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Homemade flatbread will keep for two to three days at room temperature. Be sure it is completely cool before storing it in an airtight container or bag. It freezes well, too, and will keep for up to a month.
Flatbread can be reheated in your toaster, toaster oven, or regular oven. Wrap it in foil if you like it to be soft; for a crisper bread, leave it unwrapped.
More ways to use this flatbread
I’m sure you already have tons of ideas for this flatbread, but I’ll share a few of mine:
- Flatbread with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, and Parmesan Cheese
- Pesto Flatbread Pizza with Fried Egg and Arugula
- Ricotta Flatbread with Bacon, Squash, Apples, and Maple Pepitas
- Flatbread with Hummus and Vegetables
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) boiling water
- ½ cup instant potato flakes
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast (see note)
- Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the instant potato flakes and remaining flour (1 cup) with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for 5 to 7 minutes (by hand, or stand mixer) to form a soft dough. Add more water, if needed. I added 1 tablespoon. Add additional flour only if necessary. If kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces, cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch circle, and fry them without oil over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. They will be puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out. Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep them soft.
- Serve immediately, or cool before storing in a plastic bag.
- This recipe works best with instant yeast because it dissolves during the kneading process, so you don’t have to knead liquid into the dough. If you prefer to use active dry yeast, use only 1 cup boiling water for the initial dough, dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup warm water, and add this mixture to the dough along with the potato flour mixture. It’ll be somewhat “slippery” at first, but will knead in and eventually become smooth.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.