Grilled Flatbread

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This is a really easy recipe that makes a huge impression on company when you serve it as appetizers. Warm, light, and puffy – a great comfort food.  You could easily use this dough to make a 16″ pizza as well (scroll to bottom for additional instructions).

  • 250g AP flour (2C) – maybe use bread flour if you’re making pizza
  • 165g water (<.75C)
  • 4.5g kosher salt (.5t)
  • 1.5g instant yeast (.25t plus pinch)
  • 1T olive oil
  • finely chopped herbs, as desired

Add all the ingredients to mixer EXCEPT oil and herbs. Mix on 1st speed for 3 minutes. Continue mixing and slowly drizzle in olive oil. If you go too fast, the oil won’t be incorporated in the dough, the sides of the bowl will get slick, and the dough will just spin around.

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After oil is incorporated, add herbs. Because I have an INSANE amount of oregano, I got four long stems’ worth of leaves. Rosemary would work very nicely as well. After chopping, this probably yielded about 3T, which is pretty much the upper limit. Remember, if you’re using dried herbs, use half as much as you would use with fresh herbs.

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Add herbs and mix until thoroughly combined and strong gluten development is evident. Cover and allow to rise for about 1.5 hours. In this case, rising isn’t so much about volume as it is getting the yeast active, letting the flour absorb the water, and softening the dough.

After rising, the dough will be puffed, and much looser.  Fold and shape into a ball, then divide into four pieces (no need to be super accurate, but just so you know, they’ll be about 4oz each).

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 Take each piece and roll into a tight ball.  Lightly flour, cover, and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before the next step.  If you don’t need them for a long time, you could refrigerate them (just make sure to let them warm a little before attempting to manipulate again).

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 After a gluten-relaxing rest, begin rolling out into a flat disc.  You could use your hands here, but the rolling pin is so easy.  If the dough is a little sticky, don’t hesitate to use a little flour.  Perfect shape is less important than uniform surface and thickness.  We’re looking for something a little thicker than a thin-crust pizza (should be about 7 inches in diameter).

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 After rolling all four dough pieces, preheat your grill.  When preheated (15 minutes), spray with cooking spray and slap right on the hottest part of the grill for 2 minutes.  If you like nice cross-sectional grill marks, rotate after 1 minute.  Flip after 2 minutes and grill for 2 more minutes.  This could also be done under a broiler – same amount of bake time – just watch for burning.

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 You’re done!  Use them whole as pitas (actually they’re more like naan, except risen) or cut them into wedges for appetizer dipping.

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Pizza Variation

To use this same dough for pizza, mix the dough exactly the same. Allow to rise for 1.5 hours. Fold dough and pre-shape into a compact ball.

Generally, at this point pizza dough is left to very slowly rise and develop overnight in the fridge.  If you’re short on time, just go for it, but this is a very beneficial step, especially when it comes to having strong but stretchy dough for shaping.

Shape by gently flattening dough ball into a very thick disc, and then stretching in tiny increments until you have the desired diameter.

Preheat oven to highest temperature (hopefully 500*+). This will probably take about 30 minutes, plus some extra time to ensure the oven is fully heated. Allow the dough to rise during this time.

When oven is preheated, begin dressing with toppings. My philosophy is “less is more”… a thin layer of sauce (we sometimes use tomato paste), a few toppings, some cheese. Bake for just a few minutes (maybe 10) until cheese bubbles and crust takes on a golden color. If you have a pizza stone (unlike me), it will probably be done in 5 minutes.

Yum!