Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sourdough Whole Grain Flatbread ~ A Recipe

It might be the end of summertime, but it's definitely still summer here in the Northwest, and I am still giving my oven a summer sabbatical until the cooler weather greets us once again. That means, my family enjoys breads made on the stovetop. Tortillas, English muffins, pancakes, and now, flatbread. Soured and soaked, if you please. This was largely adapted from Gnowfglin's English muffin recipe. Like most breads, they are simply the best when they are freshly made. To reheat them, simply turn on your stovetop and place them right on the burner for about 5 seconds per side.

Sourdough Flatbread (makes about 15)
2/3 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups cultured dairy or coconut milk (I prefer kefir, but yogurt or buttermilk may be used)
3 cups whole grain flour (I prefer spelt)
2 Tablespoons honey, preferably raw
1 1/2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix cultured dairy or coconut milk with sourdough starter. Add flour. Kneed for about 3-5 minutes. Cover and let it sit out overnight or up to 24 hours. Mine looked like this after soaking overnight on a hot, summer night (it can take longer in cooler weather):

Kneed the honey, salt, and soda into the dough for about three minutes. Divide into ball shapes; however big or small you want your flatbread to be. We made about 15 of them. Cover with a damp towel.

It's time to set up your flatbread station. You will be rolling them out (or pressing them if you have a tortilla press) and placing them onto a hot griddle or pan. Grease rolling space, rolling pin, and pans. Heat up pans. This is how we set up our station (please excuse the jars of lacto-fermenting kefir and creme fraiche, they are a permanent fixture on my tiny trailer countertop:

It's important to keep your rolling space greased. We needed to do it about three times. If you wait too long before re-greaseing, you get hole-y flatbread like this:

Cook on medium-high heat for about three minutes per side. Serve warm. My children like them with raw butter, or with raw nut butter and raw honey, or with raw cheese (rawrawraw. Raw.), or just plain by themselves when they snatch one off the just-cooked stack while I'm still finishing them. I used what I had around the kitchen and made quite a tasty meal out of it by coating the insides with creme fraiche (probiotic point number one) and filling it with fresh garden lettuce, tomatoes, avocado slices, raw cheese (probiotic point number two!), and sprinkled it all with some Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper.


  1. I am impressed with what you do and what you do in such a small place. I have a small kitchen but I am sure, it is much larger than yours and I am complaining how I need more space, more counter and cabinets. I will have to learn to be thankful for what I have.

    This flatbread is interesting, while being delicious looking. My hubby can't eat it so I won't be making it but I will be missing it. Gluten free is great and in truth, there is probably a way to do this, but right now, I am on hold with recipes, I have to figure out.

    I have to keep this for the summer when I am not working.

    Thanks for linking this. Keep making such great food.

  2. How cool! I clicked on this because I thought it was a vegetarian sandwich but homemade bread sounds way more exciting!

  3. Oh good. I've been looking for a sourdough flat bread recipe. Question: I thought that the calcium in dairy products inhibits the breaking down of the phytic acid? I know milk makes a softer bread, but I'm always cautious to use dairy products in the souring process. Have you ever tried just water? I may try that...

  4. P.S. That avocado tomato sandwich looks amazing. And I just ate. But I could eat one of those right now.

  5. Interesting, I've never heard of the calcium interfering with breaking down the phytic acid. Lacto-fermentation of breads has been used a long time and is used in Westin A. Price recipes. I'll have to look into that. :)

  6. I made these today and they are yummy! Thanks for the easy recipe. I think they are gonna have egg salad in them today for lunch

  7. Awesome! Yum, I egg salad sandwiches sound delicious!

  8. I just found an article that should clear up the soaking with milk confusion. I hope you find it helpful:

  9. I actually just read this article yesterday too! Good article. I'm glad Sally replied - now I feel fine soaking some things (like this recipe) in dairy! That makes things much simpler.

  10. So I made these last night, and they are very yummy. I did a couple of things slightly different - I didn't use cultured dairy, I just used regular cream, since the sourdough starter did enough fermenting for me. Then, once my dough had soured, I ended up not being able to make these right away, so I just stuck the dough in the fridge for a day, then pulled it out a couple of hours before I wanted to make them, and it worked great! In case anyone else can benefit from that... Anyway, here's my problem (and I had this problem making tortillas before too, but this was even more challenging) - what is your trick for transferring the rolled out dough to the pan without it falling apart? By the time I got mine to the pan, there were holes all over and it just turned into a gloppy mess in the pan. The dough wasn't sticking to anything - I made sure everything had plenty of oil on it, it's just that the dough is so fragile that lifting it up caused mine to break (I used spelt flour too). What I ended up doing was forming the dough on the lid for the bowl I used for the dough, and then taking that over to the pan and kind of peeling it off right into the pan. This wasn't ideal, though, because that meant I couldn't use a rolling pin (because of the lip on the lid) so I just had to form them all by hand, which took a lot longer. Any tips? Also, my balls that I formed and put back into the bowl, all converged back together, so for the last half of the dough, I was just pulling off a glob of dough from the mass - they weren't nice little balls like yours! Do you think maybe my dough needed a bit more flour? Would that have made it less fragile?

  11. Hi! I'd definitely add more flour next time. Your starter might be thinner than mine. Or maybe there's an altitude difference between you and I. It could be lots of things, but if you make them again, I'd add more flour before souring and go for a thicker, less sticky feel. :)

  12. Looks very good!! I just returned very expensive and moldy flatbread to the store. I have been getting the hang of my sourdough starter and am excited to try this recipe. I have an awesome panini press that I can used to cook it and am going to experiment with adding bran and flax seeds.

  13. what was your starter ingredients? I really miss homemade sourdough bread. I have an intolerance to wheat and any gluten grain. Do you have any suggestions?

  14. [Cultures For Health]( has video tutorials on how to make gluten-free sourdough. It might be helpful. :)


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