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Sunday
Dec012013

Homemade Flatbread

 

One of the quickest ways to get me in the kitchen these days is to wave a new bread recipe in my face.  Of course, it never takes much to get me in the kitchen, but I’m a total sucker for just about any recipe with yeast in the ingredient list.  Bread making is one of those fun culinary excursions where science meets art and I'm more than a little fascinated by the whole process.  I’ve been working on my sourdough bread recipe for over 2 years now, and don’t think I’ll ever decide it’s where I want it to be because I’ve become fairly attached to my “project”.  And as complicated as sourdough can be, flatbreads are fun, easy and just about as scrumptious. 

Over the years, I’ve gotten emails and comments from many of you bemoaning your reticence about working with yeast and bread doughs. I’ve encouraged you to just get in there and play with it and let it be OK if your bread doesn't turn out great the first 10 times you make it.  More than likely, it’s going to be great the first time, but start with something easy and even if you aren't that happy with the results, just keep at it.  The one and only trick to making bread or working with yeast is experience.  The more you do it, the more comfortable you will be with it.  It really doesn't take long, and I promise you that the aromas of baking bread will be reward in itself.

If you think of yourself as a bit yeast-phobic, this is such a great recipe to play with.  It’s a cinch to throw together, and the dough can be kept in the fridge for days so you can bake your flatbreads whenever you get the whim.  It’s a very forgiving dough, (forgiveness is a lovely thing when baking bread); no matter how they turn out, they’ll be delicious.  I like to roll ours as thin as possible, but it really doesn't matter how thick or thin you roll them, they puff up so beautifully and taste amazing.

So once you’ve got your flatbread dough all made, you just pinch off pieces, roll them into circle-ish disks and throw them onto a hot grill or griddle.  They only cook for a minute or so on each side and then they're ready to slather, stuff or just eat out of hand. 

Our favorite way to stuff them so far is to place a couple of these roasted tomatoes in the flatbread, top them with a couple of meatballs, melt some mozzarella cheese on top and then add some fresh salad greens.  Crazy good.

Delicious comes in all shapes and sizes… and when it comes to bread, it turns out that flat is impressively scrumptious.  Here’s the recipe…

Homemade Flatbread

One of the great things about this recipe is that the dough can hang out in the fridge for several days, so you can make it well in advance.  I've kept it for as long as a week and over that time, just took out enough dough to make a few flatbreads at a time.  I prefer to roll mine out as thin as possible, so I usually get about 10 flatbreads out of this recipe. I proof the yeast in the bowl of my stand mixer and then mix all of the ingredients into that one bowl, using the dough hook to bring it all together.

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe courtesy Amy Thielen, Heartland Table

3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/4 cups bread flour

Directions

For the flatbread: Combine the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup lukewarm water in a small bowl and let the yeast puff up and proof, about 3-4 minutes.  (I do this in my stand mixer - see headnote). 

Pour the yeast mixture into a large bowl and add 1 cup lukewarm water, the oil and salt. Add 1 cup of the flour and whisk until smoothly combined. Switching to a wooden spoon, add the rest of the flour and stir until you have a soft dough. Rub the dough with a bit more oil, press a square of plastic wrap to its surface and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, transfer it to an oiled plastic bag and let it proof in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or as long as 3 days.

Heat a grill over high heat. Generously oil a baking sheet. Divide the flatbread into eight portions on the baking sheet. Press the dough into thin rounds, about 8 inches in diameter.

Grill the breads over medium-high heat, closing the lid right after putting them on and flipping and turning to avoid any flare-ups.  Each flatbread will take about 2 minutes to cook.

Click here to ask a question or leave a comment

Reader Comments (28)

I've been trying to make bread and practice with different recipes, but didn't have much luck until I tried your English Muffin bread. I was so happy to finally make some bread that actually rose and tasted good. Now I'm going to have to try this flat bread. It looks delicious and hopefully it'll be a success. Thanks for the help and encouragement!

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Kieferland

These look delicious!! I might have to get over my fear of yeast and try them!

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Hoagland

Just beautiful!

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia R.

I would make these breads just to eat that sandwich!

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia R.

I don't know if I'm intimidated to make bread or just lazy. LOL! But I love homemade bread of any kind and usually have to wait for my girlfriend to make an extra loaf. This flat bread looks so good and possibly easy to try.

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Hanley

I've always wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread and would love it if you would post your recipe.

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

You're welcome, Barbara! So glad you liked the English muffin bread. Hope you enjoy the flatbread too!

December 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Still working on the sourdough recipe, Aimee, but perhaps I'll be posting it one of these days. In the meantime, a really good place to start is with the King Arthur recipe. You can also order your starter from them.

December 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I'm a novice bread baker and took on the challenge of making good, homemade sandwich bread for my family about a year ago. I just wanted to tell you how right you are about experience being the key to making bread. My first few loaves didn't turn out very good, but I made myself try again and now I'm turning out some pretty good bread. I've gained enough confidence to switch up some of the ingredients to make it healthier too. I love the look of these flatbreads and can't wait to try them!

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie S.

I do love hearing that, Maggie. So great you had the patience to hang in there and keep trying. Thanks for sharing that and I hope you give the flatbreads a try!

December 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Just found this delicious flatbread recipe on Foodgawker and in the process discovered your website! I love it! I've already got a list going of recipes I want to make, starting with that persimmon pudding cake! If I can talk my neighbor into parting with a few of his persimmons. :)

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

i love flat bread ,but the store brands seem to have an off taste and from a bakery the cost is high,my question is.can this be done on stove top in a cast iron skillet?

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleo g king

These would cook up great in a cast iron skillet, Leo. I've cooked them on both a cast iron griddle and the grill pan and both turned out really good. This summer I'll try them on the grill. Enjoy!

December 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

So glad you found us, Sandy! Enjoy the persimmon cake (hope your neighbor is in a generous mood)!

December 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Hi,
After proofing in the fridge, I was wondering whether you brought your dough back to room temperature before proceeding with the shaping and grilling.

Thanks,
Michael

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I didn't bring it to room temp, Michael. I just cut it into pieces and as I formed it into balls, it sort of came to room temp on its own. I didn't have any trouble rolling or stretching the dough, but if it seems your dough is a bit too cool and won't roll out, you can let it rest a bit to warm up.

December 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

My boyfriend and I just finished making these flatbreads and they're amazing! We loved them! They were easy, even fun, to make and we couldn't stop eating them. We used them to house some leftover brisket with a drizzle of gravy - simply delicious. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBree

So glad you liked these, Bree! Love how you used them with leftover brisket... nice. Great to hear from you!

December 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made these flatbreads yesterday to go with an antipasto platter I put together for a dinner party we were hosting. I made them pretty small so they would work with the appetizers and they were wonderful! I was surprised by how easy they were to make and it was so nice to be able to make the dough so far in advance. I'll definitely be making them again. Thanks for the great recipe!

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Lee

You're so welcome, Anna Lee. What a great way to serve them. I'll have to remember that. Nice to hear from you!

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This looks great! I've made homemade pita bread, but never this kind of flatbread. I can't wait to try it.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

We love it, Steph! Hope you do too!

January 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

hey Patrice how long do these hold in the fridge before they go bad?

February 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbenji

We use these up about as fast as I can make them, Benji, but if wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, they should last a week or two in the fridge.

February 13, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This was my very first crack at flatbread and they were so easy and better than I'd imagined. I can't wait to experiment further. I can never buy a storebought flatbread again!

I was initially concerned because I don't own a grill pan (yet) and it's not quite grilling season, so I wasn't quite sure how best to proceed for baking. It turns out that I can finally use my boyfriend's George Foreman grill -- they cook perfectly on one.

Thank you again for an excellent recipe!

February 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJess

You're so welcome, Jess! Great idea to cook these on the George Foreman grill. So glad you liked them! And so nice to hear from you!

February 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

These were so easy and delicious!!! They do keep well in the fridge for use over the next couple days. I made a batch on a Friday evening and was able to stretch it through into a Sunday brunch finale. You can use them for a million different things. This will be a go to recipe for me. Thanks!!!

March 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

You're so welcome, Jenny! It seems I always have some of this dough in the fridge and can make up a few flatbreads whenever we want. And we must thank Ms. Thielen for such a great recipe!

March 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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