The Fresh Loaf

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Very fast flatbread

Pretzel's picture

Very fast flatbread

Does anyone know a very fast flatbread recipe? When I was young, I remember cooking a flatbread recipe. If I remember correctly, it was baked in the oven, and was sort of like halfway between bread, and a pikelet. I'm not sure, but I think it was levened with baking powder or soda, rather than being a yeast bread. And I remember it being very,  very fast to make. Mix up the ingredients and bake for about four minutes in an oven or something like that.

I'm never going to get that exact recipe back again, but does anyone know something that's functionally quite similar? Near instant bread from scratch?

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212 the fastest flatbread I know of. That, and other grilled flatbreads are the fastesf I know, but none are baking powder leavened - some unleavened, a few yeast breads.

What region/ethic group would this be from? What kind(s) of flour and other ingredients were in them? How thick were they? I have Flatbreads and Flavors I can check, if I know where to check.


mrfrost's picture

There are several/many naan(a pita like bread in India) recipes that use baking powder/soda and no yeast.

They are quite easy to find with a web search. Videos on youtube also.

pepperhead212's picture

and now that I checked out How To Cook Indian (one of my two favorite Indian CBs, and the one with the most bread recipes), I found (remembered) that my favorite naan has 1/2 tsp each soda & BP in 30 cloves of garlic! There are a few others in there w/soda, but I haven't tried those, though I have one marked. And one that has baking powder I can see why I haven't tried that - the 1 cup of ghee in it. Looks like the soda breads have yogurt in them, for the acid.

Colin2's picture

Elizabeth David's _English Bread and Yeast Cookery_ has crumpet and pikelet recipes, but I think they're yeast-leavened.  

If you want baking powder or soda leavening there's the classic North American pancake, and for something more bready there are of course biscuits/scones, which are pretty quick to assemble if you're in practice.  

As noted above, unleavened flatbreads like tortillas, chappatis, rotis of various kinds are fast and easy.  But even there, a dough usually benefits from rest before being rolled out.

Real naan is a relatively lean yeast-leavened dough, baked rapidly at *very* high heat.  Alford and Duguid's _Flatbreads and Flavors_ is a good reference there (and a nice book for a lot of things) with a couple of good recipes.  But it's hard to get enough heat to make good naan out of a residential oven.   As a result, there are numerous faux-naan recipes on the web and in places like Kapoor's book, which add lots of fat to the dough to keep it supple, and often use baking powder rather than yeast.  The result will be a buttery roti that is tasty enough right out of the oven, but naan it's not.  Still, try it.  If you have Indian stores nearby you can also get a variety of frozen rotis.

(You can see from all this what's so cool about yeast and fermentation -- virtually every chemically-leavened recipe you can think of requires fat to make the result edible.)

Pretzel's picture

Thanks for all the replies.

If I remember correctlty (we're talking many decades here), the recipe was an [Asian] 'Indian' recipe, but I don't remember ever seeing any Indian bread that looked like this one. (And people from the UK will know what it means that I live in Leicester).  Given that this was a 1970s book, or 1980s at the latest, and it covered a wide variety of different bread types, perhaps it wasn't authentic. I'm just looking for a recipe somewhere in the ballpark. Not an exact match.

The recipe did include sugar, but only a small amount and not enough that the resulting 'bread' was too sweet. E.g. it was OK with savoury toppings. The bread was baked in a normal oven, not on a griddle. Though, the result wasn't a world away from a thick, big, pikelet.

I'm very interested in making some griddle flatbreads, and have found this website that includes many recipes: