Playdough flatbread

I once worked in a café in Richmond, London serving excellent wraps and coffee. Manning the cooking station, I recall the pressures of lunchtime hour as patrons watched me flatten dough to a consistent thickness and then quickly (but carefully) thrusting it into the wood fired oven for 7 seconds before adding their desired protein/veg and Lebanese condiments. The visual of these movements and the show that the dough put on in the oven was a playful distraction to the hungry crowd, and I soon came to realise that people will wait for good food, if they can see and be part of the process.  I will not replicate the dough made in London, for it requires yeast which takes time plus you and I don’t have wood fired ovens at home. So instead I give you flatbread that your kids can have fun with and you can easily cook on a pan, in any shape or form.

Basic ingredients (Makes 4 Ikea plate sized flatbreads)

1 cup of all purpose or plain flour, ½ cup water, ½ cup yogurt

Optional ingredients

Grated coconut, spring onions, garlic – These can be added in once you’re happy with the consistency of the bread or “stick” these on whilst one side of the bread is cooking


Time: Prep – 15 mins, Rest/Play – 1 hour, Cook – 2 mins

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix until a ball shaped dough is formed. You might have to adjust the ingredients depending on your environment but this is also the beauty of the flatbread – you will get it right no matter what. If you feel that the dough is too dry or crumby, add more water. If it’s too wet, add more flour. The best way to know this is to look at the palms of your hands after you’ve tried to form the dough with the base measurements I’ve shared. If the entire dough sticks to your palms without falling off, you need more flour. If the mixture or your palms looks cakey or crumby, add abit more water. What you want ultimately, is for the container holding your dough to be relatively clean around the sides. For good measure, leave the dough in your container covered for about 1 hour – this is to ensure the ingredients are well combined and also, for some gluten to form. Alternatively, allow your kids to play with it – constant stretching of the dough also encourages gluten development.

After the hour has passed and on a flat surface dusted with flour, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Dust your palms with flour and take each part and shape into a ball (doesn’t need to be perfect). Dust the surface of the ball with flour and with a rolling pin (or your hands), flatten the dough evenly to the thickness desired. Do not strive for perfection with this dough – if it turns out oval or square vs circle, let it be. Even if you can’t roll your cooked flatbread into a wrap, you can always use it as a food plate, or a side.

Once happy with the size and thickness, heat a pan at medium heat. Place your flatbread onto the pan, exercise patience, and trust that it will not stick onto the pan. Watch as the dough puffs up (depending on where the air bubbles are, your entire bread might puff up or small pockets of it will puff up – again, no right or wrong). This is the point where you can turn your flatbread over and you’ll notice that it will puff up slightly again. Once you are happy with the color, take it off the stove.

What next?

Roll into a wrap, tear and eat with soup or stew or use as pizza base (cook the dough as per method first before adding your toppings to go into the oven).

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