Saturday, June 9, 2012

Greek Flatbreads

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I wanted to try a recipe that I found for Beef Pitas (here) so I went to the store in search of the pita breads.  What I found was overpriced, unappealing, and quite disheartening so I decided to go on a quest to find a recipe and make my own.

After browsing multiple recipes (which I forgot to write down their web addresses), I mixed and matched according to my family's tastes and came up with this one.  It was insanely delicious; albeit quite time consuming - I hope you'll try it.  (0=

Greek Flatbreads - makes about 15 flatbreads

2 cups warm water, 110-115° F
1 pkg active dry yeast, about 2 ¼ teaspoons
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup plain whole milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek-style)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
7 to 7 ½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Oregano
Additional Salt and Oregano for final seasoning

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast and honey. Whisk well, then let stand 10 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom. Stir in the ½ cup oil, milk (or yogurt) and butter.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour together with 1 tablespoon salt, garlic powder, and 1 tsp Oregano.  Add to the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook on low speed or a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead with the dough hook or by hand for 5 minutes.  Be careful not to overwork the dough, the more you work yeast dough, the tighter the gluten becomes and the bread gets tough.

3. Drop the full ball of dough into an oiled bowl and flip once to coat with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap or a warm, damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.  (Note:  This looks like a LOT of dough)

4. When the dough has risen to about double divide into equal pieces (I ended up with 15) and shape into balls being careful not to work dough too much.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dust lightly with flour. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

5. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and brush it lightly with oil.  Sprinkle some salt and dried oregano on the oiled paper.  Then, on a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough into a disk. Using a rolling pin, gently stretch the disk into approximately 6-inch round about ¼” thick.

6. Brush the dough with olive oil, then sprinkle with dried oregano and salt. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, stacking the flattened, seasoned rounds on top of each other in 2 stacks, so they are oiled and seasoned on both sides by contact. Let rest 15 minutes to let the gluten relax.

7. In a lightly oiled (1 to 2 tsp) preheated iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed skillet), cook the flatbread slowly over medium heat until the bread puffs slightly, and the bottom colors lightly, 1 ½ to 2 minutes.  Flip and cook the second side until the bread is cooked through, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes longer.

Time to flip (0=

Here's what the first side looked like.

(Do a test round, let it cool, then cut and check to see if it's baked all the way through. Adjust timing accordingly.)

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Note: Flatbreads keep well for several days in a plastic bag; reheat under a broiler or in a toaster oven. 

Here is my finished bread (0=


I also served Greek Vegetable Salad (recipe here) with my pitas and our meal was wonderful.  

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