Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's Bread, But Flat as a Pancake

It's flat bread!

Remember when I mentioned my adventures with pita bread in the February Daring Cooks challenge? Well here's the recipe, re-named flat bread; though you can call it pita bread if you're serving it with a Mediterranean spread.

Gluten-free and flat bread work well together. Have you ever noticed that when you try to use a regular loaf pan to bake GF bread it falls and/or cooks funny? Yet when you put that same recipe in a larger baking pan, and it bakes only an inch or two high, the texture and taste is improved? In gluten-free baking, it seems, things need to be baked quickly otherwise it crumples on itself and becomes dense. To combat this phenomenon, a flat bread works nicely, as it bakes quickly and doesn't really need to raise much in the oven.

So without further ado, I give you your next staple bread. For a crunchy, tougher bread, bake each longer on each side. For a bread more akin to the pita variety, bake each side to a creamy tan color- it makes for a soft and steamy bread affair.

Flat Bread
Gluten-free, vegan, corn-free

This delicious flat bread makes a great pita bread substitute.

Special equipment needed: a pizza stone or cast iron pan(s)

2 c. warm water
2 tablespoon dry-active yeast
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (1/3 cup whole groats, ground down in a spice grinder/food processor)
1 1/2 c. sorghum flour- packed
1 c. brown rice flour
2 c. arrowroot flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Canola or coconut oil for cooking

In a large bowl, "proof" the yeast by whisk together the warm water, yeast, and agave. Allow the mixture to get puffy before adding the olive oil. While the yeast is proofing, whisk together the flours and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry combo to the wet and mix into a smooth dough (hands are great for this). Let it rise in the warmest place you can find for twenty minutes. While the dough is rising, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F along with a pizza stone and/or cast iron pan(s). These are the best for baking the bread, as they heat to very high temperatures for quick cooking. Once the dough is done rising and the oven is heated, knead the dough for another moment. Now you're ready for cooking the bread.

Remove the hot stone/pan(s) from the oven and spread with a thin smear of you choice cooking oil. Using your fingers, press a golf ball (or larger, if desired) sized ball of dough down about 1/8 inch thick. Fit as many as you can on the stone/pan(s) and bake 6-10 minutes (cast iron bakes quicker), then flip the breads. The soonest time to flip the breads is when the bottoms are a creamy tan color, but you can wait till they are a tanner brown color for a tougher/crispier bread. Cook the other side for another another 6-10 minutes, when there are a few browned spots. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

These breads are best eaten straight out of the oven. Serve with a Mediterranean spread (hummus!) or as a side with soup, salad, etc. The sky is the limit! If there are any leftovers (impossible, right?) best storing results are yielded when the breads are wrapped still warm in a towel and placed in an airtight container before being re-heated to eat.

Makes approximately 20 flat breads, depending on the size of your dough balls

Printable Recipe


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