Fresh, fluffy bread is something that usually takes a long time to make and requires an investment of effort. Thankfully, the humble flatbread requires none of those things but rewards its maker with a whiff of steam and smell of a bakery in just minutes.
During Ramadan this year, we had Lebanese chef, Hoda Kobeissi, create three recipes for us in the theme of breaking fast. One of those was a man’oushe (or manakish for plural), which she made using yoghurt and self-raising flour base instead of the usual yeast-risen version.
Hoda baked her dough into a round, flat dish which she topped with za’atar, kishk and tomato, and vegemite with cheese. Since then, I’ve been using the dough recipe for a whole lot of things, one because it’s so easy and two because the result is surprisingly good.
I’ve made manakish, then used it for an emergency cheesy garlic pizza entrée, rolled into smaller flatbreads and grilled on the stove to mop up slow-braised lamb shoulder with tzatziki and all the trimmings, and whipped out a batch to chop up into wedges for dipping in hummus.
You could even brush them with garlic butter when they’re hot out of the plan for emergency back-up naan.
How to make two-ingredient flatbread
Combine 1 cup of flour with ½ cup of plain, natural yoghurt in a bowl. You can use Greek yoghurt (it seems to be the only thing available in the supermarket these days) but you might just need to add a little more as it has a lower moisture content.
Season with a good pinch of salt and knead to form a soft dough. This will make enough for four good sized flatbreads, or eight mini ones. I usually plan for a 1/3 to ½ cup of flour per person if the flatbread is a main part of the snack/dish e.g. manakish, with dips or served as a carb in a main meal.
Rest for five minutes, then dust the bench with a little flour and divide your dough into four pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and roll each ball out flat into a round-ish shape.
Cook in a dry pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other til puffed, lightly browned and cooked through.
Roll them out thinner and larger for wraps, smaller and slightly thicker for dipping or bake in the oven like Hoda for a manakish/cheat’s pizza. Just be sure to roll them thin enough as they’ll puff up quite a bit when cooked – about three to four times the thickness.
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