The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

flat bread

ouhrabko's picture

Too bubbly dough and flatness of loaf?

July 14, 2012 - 4:42am -- ouhrabko

Hello,  i would like ask you for advice. 

i ´m making too flat loaves.  I´ve handled how to make half rye sourdough caraway seed bread and i wanted tray got some white, french, sourdough bread.   But, it doesn´t workinkg for me. 

I have well developed gluten, i have enough of steam in oven - most problematic part is geting loaf to baking sheet - the dough is to soft and get flat and don´t get rise up.  Easy solution is - high hydration. But it´s happend, when i folowed Rainhart´s formula for  miche very strictly.  


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

This is my first project from the many breads that I found interesting in Bernard Clayton Jr.'s book,  "Breads of France", first printed in 1978. I obtained the copy I'm reading through an inter library loan from McPherson, KS, which is deep in the heart of Kansas and wheat growing country. The book is a 1978 copy. Mr. Clayton's formulas are written down in volume measurement so I used a calclator, pad, and pen to scratch out my weight measurements. That's the penalty I pay for not having learned how to use a spread sheet. This must be an obscure if not quite forgotten bread because both Bing and Google searches failed to turn up any formulas on line that I could find.

The bread isn't quite a flat bread as Mr Clayton described it nor is it a focaccia type bread despite the estimated 77% hydration. With stone ground whole wheat flour accounting for 44% of the flour and some wheat germ added, the bread has a nice dark crumb. The WW flour is used in both the preferment and sponge so there's little if any bitterness from the WW. I expect that the formula could be adapted for use with a sourdough starter. It goes well with hearty soups that I like to serve in wintertime. Mr. Clayton wrote that the bread was considered as a "pain de regime" or diet bread in France at the time the book was written.

I wouldn't say that my formula has been perfected yet. There were enough details in the formula and procedures that puzzled me the first time around so I think that I'll have to go back to this loaf again. However, I posted my procedures and weight measurements along with some aimless chatter on my blog. Don't expect a professional formula please. If you should share my interest in the loaf and actually try it for yourself, I hope that you'll share your successes and mishaps with me.

ilan's picture

Before going into the bread itself (which is simple enough), here is some background:

About a week ago the Jews had their Passover holiday. This holiday lasts for a week during which the religious and traditional Jews are not allowed to eat any bread that its dough was allowed to rise.

This is due to the Bible story of the Hebrew slaves running away from Egypt (the story with Moses – let my people go…). During this quick departure, they didn’t have the time to let their dough to rise and instead of bread they the Matza – bread of the poor – for their desert track.

So, after a week of eating no real bread some factions invented the Mufleta – flat bread that can be prepared very quickly when the holiday ends (at the evening when the bakeries are not open yet).

The recipe:

·         3 cups of four

·         1.5 cups of water

·         1 spoon of oil

·         ½ teaspoon of salt

·         2-3 teaspoons of dry yeast

Mix all the ingredients and kneed it for 10 minutes.

Split the dough into balls in size of about half chicken egg and place all of them on an oiled surface.

Cover with a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Put a frying pan on the stove.

Oil your kitchen counter.

Spread the first ball of dough with your hands until it gets to a size of a medium plate about 2mm thick (I consistently failed to get the correct shape out of it…).

Put the dough in the pan to fry while you start spreading the second one.

After the first got a golden color (fried from one side only), put the second on top of it and flip them – the new dough should touch the pan itself. Keep doing it until all are ready.

Once all are done, serve it with butter and honey (combination of the two is recommended). Its nice to spread the butter and honey and then fold it like a crepe or simply like an envelope.

The one I managed to take picture of was way under 2mm of thickness :)

Something went wrong - they came out too dry (I think) but me and my wife finished them all in any case...

It was interesting and different bread experience.

Next bread will be a more conventional one - already made a baguette starter for tomorrow - about 12 hours left.

Until the next post


gothicgirl's picture

When I was taking my Breads & Rolls class last year in culinary school we made an Indian bread called Aloo Paratha. It is a wheat bread dough that is filled with a curried potato mixture, rolled flat and cooked on a hot griddle. They were, in a word, delicious!


I have thought of them fondly, but had not gotten around to making them when the curry bug bit one afternoon. I had potatoes, I had Indian spices, and I had wheat flour. I would make parathas to go along with some Curry Crusted Chicken Thighs.

Aloo Paratha    Yield 8 parathas

For the dough -

2 1/4 whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling -

1 lb. potatoes (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
salt and pepper
vegetable oil, or ghee, for brushing the parathas

Aloo Fixins 



In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the flour, salt and water with the dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed.  The dough should be quite soft and a little sticky.

Aloo Dough

Cover the bowl with plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes. 


Aloo Paratha Filling Fixins 


While that rests make your filling.


Boil the potatoes in their jackets, or microwave for 12 minutes, until soft.  Allow to cool slightly then carefully peel the potatoes and put them in a bowl.  Add the spices, cilantro, oil, mustard, and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and form the mixture into 8 equal sized balls.  (I used a disher for this to make sure the balls were all the same size)


Aloo Paratha Filling 


After the dough is rested turn it out on a floured surface and divide it into eight equal pieces.  Flatten with your fingers and place a ball of filling in the center.  Wrap the filling with the dough, making sure the dough is completely sealed.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and filling.

Aloo Paratha, Wrapped in Dough 


Gently pat out the parathas into fat disks, then carefully roll them out until they are between 6″ and 7″. 


Aloo Paratha - Rolled out 


Cook the parathas on a smooth griddle over medium heat for two minutes.  Flip the parathas, which should be lightly browned and spotty, and brush the cooked side with vegetable oil or ghee.  After two minutes flip again and brush the second side with oil or ghee.  Cook for 30 seconds per side then transfer to a plate and cover with a towel. 


Aloo Paratha  

Repeat until all the parathas are cooked.

Published on - 3/13/2009

zainaba22's picture

4 + 3\4 cups flour,unbleached,whole wheat,or a mixture of the two.
4 Tablespoons butter,divided.
2 Teaspoons yeast.
1 Teaspoon baking soda .
2 Teaspoons salt.
2 cups water.
2 tablespoons evaporated milk (low fat).

for Topping:
* olive oil +zaatar.
* sugar.
* toasted sesame seeds.

1)place all ingredients+ 2 Tablespoons butter in the bowl of mixer ,beat 10 minutes to make a soft dough.

2) add the rest of butter to the dough and knead it by hand until well combined.

3) Cover and let rise for 1-2 hour.

4) Divide dough into 4 pieces.

5) shape each piece into a ball.

6)Roll each ball into a 20cm round.

7)Brush the top with milk ,prick the dough all over with a fork, and sprinkle it with sugar and toasted sesame seeds or olive oil +zaatar .


8) Bake at 550 for 7-9 minutes.

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