Chewy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, these garlic & coriander flatbreads are so versatile (and sooo good!)
Do you remember taking science classes in school?
It seems like a lifetime ago now, but I vaguely recall mixing different substances together and checking for chemical reactions by heating over a bunsen burner – do they even have those anymore? – I’m showing my age, aren’t I? ← don’t answer that…
Although I never really made the connection while at school, I get it now – if you swap the word “substances” for the word “ingredients”, you get…
The magical, sometimes mystical, and always delicious world of baking, is all about the chemical reactions…
In this instance: a leavening agent (yeast) + food (flour) + moisture (water) + warmth (um, yeah, just warmth…) = yummy freshly baked bread. Warm from the oven (or in this case, pan) and slathered in melted butter – it’s alchemy at its very best!
I know a lot of people out there are scared at the prospect of working with yeast, but I promise you, it’s worth getting over your fear – there is nothing better than pulling a warm loaf of bread from the oven, knowing that you made it yourself!
And the taste. Mmm, the taste…
It’s hard to describe, just how good freshly baked bread tastes – I wish there was some way I could hand you all some through the computer screen – boy, wouldn’t I be popular … but it’s just so soft, fluffy, yeasty, and all round delicious – you’ll never want to go back to store bought again!
To keep the scare factor to a minimum, I’ve used fast-acting or instant yeast for this flatbread recipe. Instant yeast is a great product for taking a lot of the stressful guesswork out of bread-making. Simple to use, it produces great results without the worry of needing to reactivate the yeast with water before using it. You just combine it with the dry ingredients ← it really is that easy!
Most fast acting products are a combination of dried yeast and dough improvers such as Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). Dough improvers help to strengthen your dough, making it rise faster and more easily – which helps to produce light, airy and more consistent results. I usually use this brand which I’ve found in all major supermarkets, and if you are in the US, I’ve heard a lot of great things about this brand.
For this recipe, the yeast is combined with flour, salt, butter and a little yogurt for extra flavour, tang (and protein!) Once cooked, the flatbreads are covered in melted butter, flavoured with a good heap of garlic and chopped coriander (cilantro for those further afield) although you could change up the toppings if you like – everything works well with these flatbreads – tomato sauce … mozzarella … oregano … rosemary … pesto…shall I go on?
Although I’ve called these flatbreads, let’s be honest, they aren’t particularly flat…they’re thick, and fluffy, and chewy yet soft, and so good to scoop up a creamy dip with, or to dunk into a bowl of soup, or to eat with a curry…or simply by themselves…
Hot from the pan, covered in melted butter, and so full of flavour – these garlic and coriander flatbreads make every meal extra special!
Get ready for some sticky fingers….
- 2 cups (250g) strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fast acting (instant) yeast
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 150ml cool water *
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons garlic puree
- 2 - 3 teaspoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
- Olive oil for frying
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the softened butter, greek yogurt, and most of the water (hold back a little in case you don't need it all...)
- Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together until a dough begins to form, add a little more water at a time if needed - you are looking for a soft, slightly sticky, yet manageable dough.
- Use your hands to finish working everything together, then transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 - 10 minutes until the dough is smooth, stretchy and pliable.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into it. Cover with a tea towel (or lightly oiled cling film) and leave to rise until at least doubled in size (mine took a couple of hours, it will depend on the warmth of your room).
- Tip the dough back out on to a floured surface, continually fold the dough inwards until all the air has been knocked out again. Divide the dough into six equal pieces.
- Roll each piece out with a rolling pin into a circle about 4.5 - 5 inches in diameter, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a baking liner and allow to relax for 30-45 mins (the flatbreads will begin to rise again).
- Mix together the melted butter, garlic puree and chopped coriander in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. Carefully peel each flatbread from the paper and fry for 3-4 mins on each side until they are golden brown and puffed up (I could fit two at a time into my pan). Remove from the heat and brush with the garlic & coriander butter before serving.
Recipe adapted from “Stilton and Grape Flatbreads”, How to Bake by Paul Hollywood, 2012.