Follow the recipe below for fluffy, pillowy yet perfectly chewy flatbread. Great served as part of a Mezze to scoop up dips with or wrapped round a kebabs!
Hands down, this is the best flatbread recipe I have developed. After a a year of testing various quantities (with milk, without milk, with yoghurt, without yoghurt, yeast or no yeast – and the list of variations goes on), I am so happy with this fluffy, pillowy yet perfectly chewy flatbread.
What is Flatbread?
In general, flatbread is bread made with flour; a liquid such as water, milk or yogurt, and salt. Some are leavened (made with yeast) others are unleavened. They range from below one millimetre to a few centimetres thick. Flatbread can be baked in an oven, fried in hot oil, grilled over hot coals, cooked on a hot pan, or metal griddle, and eaten fresh or packaged and frozen for later use.
They are commonly eaten in Middle-Eastern and South Asian cuisine.
What are the Ingredients for this Recipe?
This flatbread recipe is a leavened one so will need proving time for the bread dough rise.
You will need the following ingredients to make these flatbreads.
- Strong White Bread Flour. I always use strong bread flour for my bread as I love the texture. The main difference between strong bread flour and other types of flour is its high protein content. This creates more rise and structural support in the dough, allowing the final product to lift and hold shape. It also creates a chewier texture and more browning in the crust.
- Stone Ground Wholemeal Bread Flour. The use of wholemeal flour brings about a lovely nuttiness to this flatbread.
- Water, Caster Sugar and Fast Action Yeast. These ingredients are mixed together to activate the yeast, then added to the flour to create the rise in the flatbread.
- Greek Yoghurt. Provides a lovely tanginess to the bread and helps to create the lovely soft and doughy texture.
- Salt. Needed to season the bread otherwise it would be very bland.
- Olive Oil. Added to the bread dough to help with the structure and texture of the bread. Also needed to oil the bowl for proving and to brush on the flatbreads before cooking.
- Sesame Seeds. Provides a a crunchy texture to the flatbread and a lovely nutty flavour.
- Nigella Seeds. Provides a lovely crunch and a slightly onion flavour to the bread. Also known as Kalonji or black Cumin Seeds.
What to Serve with Sesame and Nigella Seed Flatbread?
See below for a number of my recipes you can dip this flatbread into – dals, dips and curry!
From top left: Persian-Style Dal; Mirza Ghasemi; Borani Laboo; Maast O’Moosir; Kashke Bademjan; Rose Harissa Aubergines and Hummus; Borani Esfenaj; Coconut and Herb Chickpea curry; Maast O’Khiar.
Sesame and Nigella Seed Flatbread
- 425 g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting surface if kneading by hand)
- 75 g stone ground strong wholemeal bread
- 250 ml tepid water
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 7 g sachet of dried yeast
- 100 g Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil (plus extra to oil proving bowl and to brush on flatbreads before cooking)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp Nigella seeds
- Pour water into a jug, add sugar and yeast and stir to dissolve. Leave loosely covered for 10 minutes until it activates and has a bubbly surface.
- Sift the white and wholemeal flours into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir in salt, sesame seeds and Nigella seeds. Pour in yoghurt and olive oil.
- Gently pour in the activated yeast and bring the mixture together (either by hand or slow speed on the stand mixer). Then increase speed and / or knead by hand until smooth-ish and elastic for about 8 to 10 minutes (the wholemeal flour and seeds will not result in a typically smooth dough). If kneading by hand you may need to add a little extra flour for dusting your surface as the mixture is quite wet.
- Tuck the dough under to form a ball and place in a bowl oiled with a drizzle of olive oil, cover with cling film and then a tea towel and leave in a warm part of your home to prove until it has doubled in size (usually between 1 to 2 hrs).
- Once the dough has proved, knock back gently and remove from the bowl. Divide into 6 pieces, dust with a little flour, and using the palm of your hand roll into balls. Leave the balls of dough covered with a tea towel on your work surface for about 15 mins to prove further.
- Roll the dough pieces one by one, using a rolling pin, into a circle shape approx 20 cm in diameter.
- Heat a medium sized frying pan or flat skillet on medium heat (allow for about 1 minute).
- Brush one side of the uncooked flatbread with olive oil and place that side down into the frying pan and cook until bubbles start to form on top of the flatbread (approx 1 to 2 minutes). Brush the topside of the flatbread with a little olive oil and then flip and cook on that side for about 30 second to 1 minute. The aim is to get the flatbreads golden and bubbly.
- Remove from the heat and place the flatbread in a tea towel to keep soft and warm, while you cook the others.
- Serve warm and straight after cooking, or reheat later on either by toasting in a toaster on a low heat or wrapping in foil and warming up in a medium / low oven circa (160°C (fan oven) / 180°C (conventional) / gas mark 4) for about 10 mins.