You should start this 1 day in advance. It can be done same day, but you will have to allow a couple of hours to chill the dough before shaping. The actual work time is minimal. Mix the dough on Thursday, pop it in the fridge and it is ready for grilling on Friday or Saturday. The time spent in your refrigerator allows for a slow rise which gives the bread its nice chewy texture and a bit of extra flavour. Plus, by letting it rise in the fridge for day or 2, I don’t feel like I’ve spent the whole day making bread.
When its time to grill the breads, take a cookie sheet and some (lots of) flour outside so you can be right beside the grill. The dough is sticky. You will need a lot of extra flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and anything else it may come into contact with.
Yes, it is messy, but relax, and have fun with this. In our house, I do the rolling and Kevin does the grilling, but if you prefer, you can do it by yourself. Just don’t forget to oil the grill before each flatbread goes on. Also, as the dough warms, it gets softer, so work quickly!
Aside from the type of yeast I use and a huge reduction in salt, it is pretty much as written in the original. After all, it is a bread recipe. Not a lot of changes I could make and still have it come out right.
Toppings for this bread are important!! Fresh tomatoes? Yes! Feta or cotija cheese, maybe some Lebnah? Slices of roast beef? Sure. But for me, the absolute MUST HAVES are the Ancho Chile Oil and the Charmoula. They take this bread to the next level. Make them the day before you plan to grill the flatbreads if you like. The chile oil will keep for a week, the charmoula for up to 3 days.
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
Vegetable oil (for brushing on the grill)
Ancho Chile Oil , Green Charmoula , and grated Cotija or Feta cheese
Puréed black beans, sliced avocado, radishes
Sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, black olives, red onion
In a large bowl, combine the instant yeast with the all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Add up to 3 cups of water, mixing with your fingers until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle salt over dough, then add sour cream. Knead until well incorporated and dough pulls away from sides of bowl and holds together in a loose, wet ball. About 5 minutes. The dough will be very soft and wet. Lightly moisten your hands to prevent sticking if needed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Knead dough an additional 4-5 times to deflate. Cover and chill for up to 2 days. (Dough will develop in flavor and continue to rise slowly in refrigerator.) Alternatively, let dough stand at room temperature until doubled in volume, 3-4 hours (the warmer and more humid your kitchen is, the faster it will rise). Chill for 1 hour before grilling to make it easier to handle.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Generously flour your work surface. Working with 1 portion at a time roll out dough or press with your hands into a 1/4″-thick shape. (It doesn’t have to be perfectly round, mine rarely are!)
Brush grill rack with oil. Grill flatbreads until lightly charred on one side and no longer sticking to grill, 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, turn over and grill until cooked through, 1-2 minutes longer. Serve warm, with desired toppings.