These flatbreads are so easy, so quick and so good with whatever dip or cheese is to hand. You can make a batch within about 20 minutes, including the baking, even going at a fairly sedate pace.
The joy of these flatbreads is you simply take some sourdough starter (I use some of the starter that I discard prior to feeding it) and mix it with flour, salt and enough water to form a soft dough.
This dough doesn’t require kneading, nor do you need to let it prove/rise: you simply roll it out thinly, cut it into shapes of choice and bake immediately. I often cut them into small squares so they are more like crackers.
If you fancy flavoured flatbreads…
You can keep the dough very simple or liven it up a little: depending on how I feel at the time I often add things such as:
- smoked garlic powder
- harissa spices
- crushed seeds: cumin, coriander or fennel are wonderful
- mustard powder
As a general rule of thumb, a rounded teaspoon or two of any extras for the amount given in the recipe is a good starting place.
Easy rolling out
I used the pasta machine here as it is so much easier to get thin sheets of dough. You just take manageable pieces of dough, run it through the pasta machine to give long, thin strips of dough. It literally takes about 10 minutes to get this done.
You then cut the dough, either precisely or more randomly – and you can go large or small – pop on baking sheets and bake.
How tangy do you like it?
Despite its name, sourdough does not have to be very sour. If you use starter that has been fed some time before, it will give a more sour/tangy flavour, whereas if you use the starter just after being fed it will give a less sour flavour.
Now I love a sourdough that is more on the sour/tangy side and for these flatbreads I use the starter that has been fed a day or so before for that very reason.
If you prefer a less tangy flavour, use the starter as soon as you have fed it.
Recipe: 20-minute sourdough flatbreads
- 50g sourdough starter
- 50g strong plain flour (white, wholemeal, rye or a mixture)
- 2g fine salt
- cold water to mix
(1) Pre-heat the oven to 200C(fan). Mix the starter, flour and salt in a bowl. Add enough water to give a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for a moment until smooth, but you do not need to knead the dough as fully as you would for full bread.
NB: for a non-sourdough version, mix the flour and salt with a little yeast (about 1 teaspoon easy-blend dried yeast per 100g flour). Then add enough water to give a soft dough and proceed as below.
(2) Take pieces of dough and run it through the pasta machine: start with the widest setting 0, increasing a setting at a time until you get to setting 5 (of 7 settings) – or even the next setting if you want the dough even thinner. It literally takes about 10 minutes to get this done.
NB: you can instead roll out the dough very thinly on a lightly floured surface
(3) Cut the dough into strips or shapes of any size. Place on baking sheets which can be lined with parchment or silicone sheet, or else lightly oiled. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning them over after about 7 minutes if baking on silicone (so the bottoms crisp up).
NB: these flatbreads can curl up a little or inflate like mini pitta breads: which, for me, is part of their rustic charm. However, if you want them perfectly flat, place another baking sheet directly on top of the dough and pop in the oven like this.
(4) Transfer the baked flatbreads to a wire rack to cool.