Introduction: Botch Bread #1: Flatbread/wraps
While people will often cook rice and potatoes, for some reason bread has entered this mystic state where only bakers and factories can make it. However, as recently as the second world war, people were creating their own bread from what they could find.
This is not a fancy bread, it's about as simple as you get. As such, it is unleavened and has at minimum just ... two ingredients.
I would suggest eating this bread while warm, or microwaving it to get it warm. It's pretty miserable with a cold chewy thing. Leavened breads are much nicer cold. I think if you add a little oil they will stay flexible enough to use as wraps the next day, but I haven't tested it. They make a good snack with a little jam or syrup.
This bread is incredibly cheap. one cup of flour is about 20 cents here, and this makes enough flatbreads for a dinner and the next lunch.
- Frying Pan
- Face (for eating it)
Step 1: Make a Stiff Dough
Add flour into a mixing bowl. Add some water, mix. Add more water until it forms a dough. It's far easier to add more water than it is to get sticky dough goop off your hands, so err on the side of caution when adding water.
You can try different flours. Here is pure white flour, but half-half white/brown also works. I imagine you could add anything from oats to (cooked) rice and still end up with a decent dough.
Step 2: You Knead It
First, put some flour down on a work surface, or if your bowl is large enough, put some extra flour in that. Some flour on your hands is also a good idea. This just stops the dough sticking.
Uhh, kneading sounds technical but it's not. Grab it in your hands, form it into a ball, and smush it into the work surface with the heels of your palm. Rotate it and repeat. Repeat until the dough isn't forming strands when it's stretched, or until you get bored.
At this point, if you poke the dough, it will spring back from where your finger was, but still leave a slight dent.
Step 3: Make Golfballs and Roll Them Flat
Divide up your mixture into golfball sized lumps. I find the easiest way to do this is to subdivide: pull your dough in half so you have two lumps. Pull each half inside so that you have four, repeat until it's the right size.
If you have a rolling pin, get it out and cover it in some flour. Re-dust your workspace while you're at it. If you don't have a rolling pin, the side of a glass jar works, or anything round really. If you're really desperate, you can stretch it by hand.
Roll them as thin as possible - aim for about 2-3mm thickness.
Step 4: Fry Them or Cook Them
If you have a non-stick pan you don't need flour or oil. If you don't, add a little flour or a little oil to the surface to stop it sticking too badly.
Put them on the pan until they brown slightly. While they're cooking, cut up some ingredients.
They will likely bubble up slightly. One of mine decided to turn into a pita bread and expand into a pocket. Some people say this only takes one minute. Maybe I'm impatient, but to me it feels closer to five (That or I don't have it hot enough). So see if you can get a few next to each other on the pan.
If you tear it, you it should be the same consistency throughout (ie not a doughy bit in the middle). If it's doughy in the middle either roll it thinner or cook at a lower temperature.
If you don't have a frying pan, you could put them in the oven, or probably even the microwave. They won't brown the same though, so I'm not sure how you'll tell when they're done.
Step 5: Add Topping and Eat
Add your toppings and eat. Here i have carrot, cheese and slices of patties. In the other picture I have jam. It doesn't really matter, just put something tasty on it and eat.
This isn't amazing bread, but it is quick, easy and cheap to make.
Eat while warm, or microwave them to heat them up. They're stiff and chewy when cold.
Step 6: Variations and Ideas
- Add different flours
- Add oats (soaked in a little milk for a few minutes?) or cooked rice
- Add a bit of oil to the mix so they brown better and remain pliable longer after cooking
- Mix herbs into the bread
- Sprinkle with rock salt before cooking
What will be botch bread number 2? Well, it's a leavened bread with a wild yeast that you can find just by leaving it sitting around for a few days. Because of this, it's taking me some time to figure out the best way to make it.