Quick — you have people coming over around lunchtime, and you have a baby. What can you whip up during her morning nap?
I have the answer: A quick flatbread. Make the dough quickly as she sits in her high chair, then play with her as it rises. Once she’s down for her nap, cut, roll, and fry, then pair with hummus and an herby oil. Done and done! (If the baby decides to cooperate. I was lucky this time.)
It’s nice to make something for guests — I am of the opinion that it’s easier to make something than to go out and buy it, as long as you have the right ingredients. Homemade bread of any kind is a really beautiful thing to share with people, and a quick flatbread doesn’t take a lot of effort or time like a sourdough or focaccia would.
This is loosely based on bazlama, a Turkish flatbread, which is close to naan in texture and flavor. I have seen bazlama dough call for milk, Greek yogurt, or just water; there are tons of bazlama and other flatbread recipes out there! They pretty much all make an easygoing flatbread that’s good for wraps, dipping, spreading, etc. The rise time is about an hour, and each flatbread only takes 4 to 5 minutes to dry fry on the stovetop.
I finished up my spread with hummus, sweet pepper slices, olives, and olive oil that I flavored with oregano and dried aleppo pepper. It made a pretty good light brunch/lunch spread and took about an hour to put together, aside from the rise time for the flatbread.
8 ounces warm water
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
Mix water and yogurt together until homogenous. Add sugar and mix again, followed by yeast. Let yeast bloom 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes foamy. In the meantime, sift flour and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in yeast/water mixture and knead lightly until it becomes a soft dough — add a splash more water if it remains craggy as you mix.
Once dough is mixed, add oil to bowl and knead it in until just combined. Then, slick bowl with more oil. Cover bowl tightly with foil or plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (yes, even the Berkshires’ classic “I don’t want to turn my heat up until Jan. 1” room temperature) for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Flour a cutting board and turn dough out onto the board, then knead again for a minute more to get some of the air out. Cut into 8 to 10 pieces (you can do more, but this will make good pita-size flatbreads) and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat a nonstick pan to medium-high. Roll out dough until it’s around 1/4-inch thick, then place in dry pan and fry 2 to 3 minutes per side, until you see the top bubbling and there are nice, toasty brown fry marks on the bottom.
Once you’re done, pair with anything you like — from leftover creme fraiche to hummus and veggies to shredded cheese in the broiler.