Flat breads originate from all corners of the world and are the earliest known form of breads. Our ingenious ancestors developed methods and improvised tools to create a staple to compliment their diet – flatbreads can are leavened while others do not use a raising agent.
Flatbreads are increasingly popular as a vessel for street foods such as Greek Gryros, Burrito or the infamous kebab or a mopper upper for tasty curries, stews & tagines.
In this class we made Pitta Yoghurt bread, chickpea based Socca, indian Paratha and Middle Eastern Za’atar Bread. You can apply the principles you learnt to all manner of different flat bread – Jewish matzo, Middle Eastern pitta, Scandinavian crispbreads, pizza dough and Mexican fresh tacos and tortillas.
Pitta Yoghurt Bread Ingredients
- 250g/9oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 x 7g sachet instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 160ml/5½fl oz water
- 2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for kneading
- 1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add 120ml/4fl oz of the water and 1½ teaspoons of oil. Using your fingers mix the ingredients together. Gradually add the remaining water and oil until all the flour has come away from the sides and you have a soft dough. (You may not need all the water; the dough should be soft and not sticky.)
- 2. Pour a little oil onto your work top. Place the dough on top and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough will be wet in the beginning but will form a smooth dough once kneaded. Once a smooth dough is achieved, place it into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover and leave to prove until doubled in size.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 250C/475F/Gas 9 and place a clean baking tray or baking stone on the middle shelf.
- 4. When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a work surface dusted with flour. Knock the dough back by folding it inwards over and over again until all the air is knocked out. Split the dough into 4-6 equally sized balls. Roll each ball into an oval shape 3-5mm thick.
- 5. Remove the hot tray from the oven, dust with flour and place the pitta breads on it. You may have to cook them in batches.
- 6. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until they just start to colour. Remove them from the oven and cover with a clean cloth until they are cool
This chickpea based socca bread will most likely become one of your all-time favourite recipes. A traditional food from Nice, France, this is nutty and slightly sweet with endless possibilities for fillings and uses. This socca bread recipe is packed with protein and super easy to make.
You can remove them from the oven when still soft for tortilla wraps or crepes, or let them cook longer so they’re very thin and crisp. We suggest following the recipe as it is written the first time you make the dish, but feel free to experiment with the spices the next time you make it!
Socca Bread Ingredients
makes 4 x 8-9 inch flatbreads
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1. Stir all the ingredients together (except the oil) and then let stand for 20-30 minutes so that the mixture can thicken up a bit.
- 2. While it’s standing, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- 3. Heat an 8-9 inch oven-safe skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Once hot, remove the skillet from the oven and add the coconut or olive oil then pour 4-5 ounces of the socca mixture into the pan. Carefully swirl around until the batter fills the surface then place back in the oven.
- 4. Cook until the socca is a deep golden brown, even slightly burned around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature with any filling you desire. Some good options are avocado, hummus, tahini, fresh vegetables, pesto, cashew cheese or miso paste. Be warned, these are so tasty that most of them may be eaten before you can add fillings. You may want to double or even triple this recipe!
- 250g/9oz wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ tsp salt
- 7 tsp ghee
- 1½ tsp ajwain (caraway) seeds
- 1. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- 2. Add the salt and one teaspoon of the oil to the well, then gradually add 150ml/5fl oz warm water.
- 3. Stir until the mixture forms a soft dough. If the dough is dry and does not come together, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- 4. Knead the dough by clenching your hand into a fist, then wet your knuckles and press them repeatedly into the dough, pressing against the side of the bowl, until a soft, smooth dough forms. This should take about 10 minutes.
- 5. Divide the dough into six balls of equal size. Dust each ball with a little flour to prevent it sticking, then roll out on a lightly floured surface into 15cm/6in circles.
- 6.Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of ajwain seeds over the circles and press the seeds into each paratha.
- 7. Smear one teaspoon of ghee over each paratha. With a sharp knife, slit the paratha to make two semi-circles and fold, then fold again to make a quarter circle (or triangle).
- 8. Flatten the triangle with your fingers and roll it out again. Use circular motions to do this to try to keep to the shape. While rolling do not press down too hard as this will cause the layers to stick together and the paratha will not be flaky. About 5mm/¼in in thickness is good.
- 9. Heat a shallow frying pan over a medium heat until a splash of water sizzles on the surface.
- 10.Place a paratha in the pan and cook for 20 seconds, or until the top starts to brown and slightly bubble. Turn the paratha over using a spatula and continue cooking for about 30 seconds, or until brown spots appear. Flip it over one more time and, using the spatula, carefully press down all over. Turn over again and repeat on the other side until you have the desired crispiness.
- 11.Keep each paratha warm, while you repeat to cook them all. Serve hot.
Middle Eastern Za’atar Bread (Manaeesh)
Za’atar is commonly sprinkled over hot flat breads, it’s wonderful with oily fish, various stews, soups, and salads. Olive oil releases its flavour so makes a great dip with warm bread.
Ingredients Bread – Serves 8
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1-3 tbsps. Olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 560g plain flour
- 2 tbsps. Za’atar for sprinkling
Ingredients for the Za’atar – reserve extra for next time!
- 2tbsp cumin
- 2tbsp sesame seeds
- 2tbs dried oregano
- 2 tps sumac
- 2 tsp salt
- 1tsp ground black pepper
Method for Za’atar
Lightly roast the cumin seeds in a dry pan, until they release their aroma. Grind them to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar. Stir in all the other ingredients plus 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper. The extra not used for your bread above will keep in a clean jar or airtight container for a month.
- Dissolve the yeast in a quarter-cup water. Stir in the sugar and let stand until foamy (five to 10 minutes). Add the remaining water, salt, if desired, oil, and two cups flour. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour until the mixture holds together.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic (10 to 15 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk (about two hours).
- Punch down the dough, knead briefly, cover, and let rest for about 15 minutes. Divide into three or four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a thin round about nine inches in diameter. Sprinkle ungreased baking sheets with cornmeal or flour, place the dough rounds on top, cover, and let stand until puffy (about 30 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius).
- Brush the tops of the dough rounds with a little oil and sprinkle with the za’atar.
- Bake until lightly browned (10 to 15 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cookery Classes at the Cookery School Manchester
Fun filled, hands on cookery classes, team building, kids cookery, coffee lovers, and foodie events, all led by our expert chefs.
From novice to expert, healthy to gourmet, we’ve got classes to suit all and can adapt to dietary or allergy requirements on request.
Food Sorcery Cookery and Barista School, Didsbury, with views over the river, easy transport links and a Hotel, pool & gym onsite, it’s the perfect place to have fun with food, learn tips and tricks from experts and to gain cooking confidence.