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Flatbreads: These bread 'platters' really stack up

By Kim Ode

Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (MCT)

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 14 2012 7:04 p.m. MDT

Soft discs of sesame-flecked flatbread can cradle a sandwich's worth of chicken salad or the fixings for fish tacos, be torn into scoops for hummus.

Tom Wallace, Mct

Form, meet function.

Not only that, but an especially tasty function. These soft discs of sesame-flecked flatbread can cradle a sandwich's worth of chicken salad or the fixings for fish tacos, be torn into scoops for hummus, or employed as especially smart "platters" on camping trips, where a swiped-clean plate always is welcomed by the designated dish-washer.

Puffed flatbreads bake in about three minutes on a heavy pancake griddle, making them a perfect "get 'em while they're warm" bread, whether at a campsite, over the back-yard grill or in the bug-free comfort of your kitchen. No griddle? They bake just as well in a hot oven.

These flatbreads resemble tortillas or chapatis, but are more tender, thanks to a yeast-risen dough that includes a bit of yogurt, preferably Greek-style, which also lends a slightly tangy flavor. A scattering of sesame seeds adds a nutty note and a subtle crunch.

The straightforward dough is made by hand or with a mixer, then left to rise for about 45 minutes. Roll the risen dough into 8-inch rounds — a water bottle works well in the wilderness — sprinkle with seeds, then gently lay each disc on the griddle. Within 30 seconds, little bubbles will begin to rise across the surface. Wait a minute longer, flip, then give the bread a final minute.

The flatbreads are best used immediately, but you might save one to fill with the next morning's scrambled eggs. No plate required.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Divide risen dough into 8 pieces and form into balls.

2. Roll on a lightly floured surface into an 8-inch circle, letting the dough rest a bit if it tends to shrink back.

3. Brush lightly with water.

4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, patting or rolling them to help the seeds adhere.

5. Gently lay the dough on a hot griddle, or a preheated baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven. If outdoors, use a campfire griddle.

6. Stack baked flatbreads on a towel and keep covered until you're ready to eat.

BAKED PUFFED FLATBREAD

Baked Puffed Flatbreads can be topped with various salad fillings and fresh vegetables for a light meal.

Makes: 8 flatbreads

Note: Adapted from "Baking With the St. Paul Bread Club: Recipes, Tips and Stories," from a "Cooks Illustrated" recipe. Top the flatbread to make a sandwich, or cut up the bread to use with dips such as hummus or baba ghanoush.

1 package (2¼ teaspoon) active dry yeast

¾ cup warm (not hot) water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style

¾ cup whole wheat flour, shaken through a strainer or colander to remove coarse flakes of bran

3 to 31/2 cup all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until bubbly. Whisk in olive oil, honey and yogurt.

In a large bowl, combine sieved whole wheat flour, 3 cups all-purpose flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon or the dough hook of a stand mixer, add the liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly, only adding the additional 1/3 cup flour if the dough seems especially sticky.

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