Seeded Flatbread

Seeded Flatbread Recipe

We are in the middle of a cold snap here in San Francisco. A mild one, as far as cold snaps are concerned, but reason enough to reaffirm my friendship with my oven. It has been working overtime - granola, batches of cookies, gratins, and yesterday this seeded flatbread. The flatbread is made from white whole wheat flour along with pepitas, sunflower, poppy, and mustard seeds. You can pull the dough out paper thin or leave it a bit thicker, serve it straight or bake it with toppings. Whatever you like, really.

Seeded Flatbread Recipe

I actually stumbled on some flatbread notes while tidying up my desk. I tried to do a version a while back using whole, uncooked millet and quinoa. The notes in the margin cautioned me to use less crunchy ingredients the next time around, ones less likely to crack a tooth ;). This time I went the seed route, and my one mistake was not crushing the mustard seeds before adding them to the rest of the ingredients - but I've adjusted the recipe to take this into account.

Seeded Flatbread Recipe

When I pull the flatbread dough extra thin, I sometimes add a thin later of toppings. The version in the photo below was baked with paper thin slices of sauteed potatoes, a bit of cheese, a pinch of fresh thyme. When I leave the flatbread a bit thicker, like you see in the first photo, I usually skip the toppings, preferring it right out of the oven with a bit of salted butter - and preferably alongside a big bowl of soup.

Seeded Flatbread Recipe

And just a reminder, you need to make the dough the night before, it takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare the dough, and then you pull it out and bake it the next day.

Seeded Flatbread Recipe

This recipe makes a hearty, dense flatbread. If you tend to like your breads slightly lighter, I'd recommend starting with 1/2 unbleached all-purposed flour & 1/2 white whole wheat flour to see how you like it. You can play with the ratio in future batches based on that. If you have trouble finding white whole wheat flour, using all unbleached all-purpose flour will work. I have a note to myself to try a spelt flour version as well, and to add some wheat or oat germ that has been pulsed into a flour in a food processor. For those of you who are curious, I have been using King Arthur brand White Whole Wheat Flour. And once last thing, if your whole grain flour starts to smell soapy and generally off, it has probably gone rancid, and needs to be replaced.

4 1/2 cups / 1 lb. 6.5 oz / 640 g White Whole Wheat Flour


1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon instant yeast / active dry yeast

1 cup / 5 oz / 140g seeds (I use equal parts chopped pepitas, sunflower & poppy seeds)

1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds, toasted and crushed

1/4 cup / 60ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups / 475 ml water, ice cold
semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting baking sheet

Stir together the flour, salt, yeast, and seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer. By hand stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is absorbed. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 7 minutes or so, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. As you are mixing, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl (to me it looks a bit like a tornado). Add a touch of water or flour to reach the desired effect. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.

Transfer the dough to a floured counter top. Cut it into 6 equal pieces and mold each into a ball. Rub each ball with olive oil and slip into plastic sandwich bags. Refrigerator overnight.



When you are ready to make flatbread (anytime in the next few days), remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before making the bread. Keep them in a warm place, covered, so they don't dry out. 



At the same time place a baking stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you don't have a baking stone, you can use a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

 Generously dust a peel or a sheet pan with a bit of semolina flour or cornmeal and get ready to shape your dough. Uncover or unwrap the dough balls and dust them with flour. Working one at a time, gently press a dough round into a disk wide enough that you can bring it up onto your knuckles to thin it out. You can pull it as much or as little as you like. The dough in the lead image was pulled about 6-7-inches, and the one further down the page was pulled paper thin. If the dough is being fussy and keeps springing back, let it rest for another 15-20 minutes. Place the pulled-out dough on the prepared pan, and jerk the pan to make sure the dough will move around on the cornmeal ball-bearings (you don't want it to stick to the pan).

Add your toppings if you are using toppings (less is more!) and slide the topped pizza onto the baking stone. Bake until the crust is crisp and nicely colored - I start checking on it after 7 minutes or so, but it can take quite a bit longer depending on how thick or not thick you've pulled it. Remove from the oven.



Makes six 6-ounce flatbreads.


If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • So would whole wheat pastry flour work?

    epb
  • Heidi, Been getting very seriously into baking lately (I've got a sourdough starter living in the fridge and everything!) and in looking at some recipes online from the bread freaks who take the matter VERY seriously, I just wanted to let you know I'm glad to see you providing gram measurements for this bread recipe! For the uninitiated, baking by weight is really the only way to do it! If you use volume, you could get a different amount of ingredient each time you measure! Digital kitchen scale = 100% accuracy!

    Matthew F
  • This flatbread jumped off the page, probably because I, too, am freezing in Napa and have a serious carb craving going on. Seeds are my favorite additions - I think I'll try flax, too!

    Karen@Cook4Seasons
  • Robin: white whole wheat flour is an unbleached flour made from white rather than red wheat; it retains more of its nutrition than AP flour without producing the grainy, dense texture pure whole wheat flour often gives to baked goods.

    Amy
  • Such a gorgeous recipe! Could I put some of the balls of dough in the freezer after they've rested over night so I always have some at the ready? If so, could I dethaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then let them sit out for an hour before baking? Thanks so much!

    Amy
  • This looks absolutely delicious. It reminds me of Naan because of its versatility and how you can top (and or fill) naan with just about anything imaginable. Lovely post, Heidi! :)

    kamran siddiqi
  • sounds delicious! can someone tell me where (in the bay area) to find mustard seeds?

    jen
  • what is white whole wheat flour?

    Robin
  • Mark Bittman also mentions instant yeast but I cannot find it anywhere. I can find active dry yeast but I don't believe this is the same thing. I have checked at several grocery stores and Whole Foods. Can anyone explain? Is there anything else it could be called? Where can I find it!?!? Thanks in advance :)

    Monica
  • Heidi, do you think these would make good bread sticks? I'm having a cocktail party next weekend, and was hoping for something like this...and thought maybe I could pull the dough, then cut/roll into strips/logs and bake...what do you think?

    Katie
  • It has been cold in San Francisco, but then again it's freezing everywhere else across the nation. The drop in temperature has been sudden and steep. I like that your recipe calls for toasting the mustard seeds and then crushing. I often forget how much flavor is coaxed out of the toasting step.

    Christine @ Fresh Local and Best
  • Mmmmmmmm! I love making flatbread; usually it's a pita bread for when I want bread in a few hours instead of in a few days. But, this looks delicious and worth waiting for overnight.

    Tony
  • I am in the Bay Area also and decided to start my stollen baking binge this week to keep the kitchen toasty! So tonight, after the next batch, it will be no problem to mix up a batch of the flatbread to eat tomorrow with Anna Thomas's Green Ginger Soup. (On a side note, I am pretty methodical about culling my cookbooks from time to time, but one book that continues to escape the culling is Vegetarian Epicure. I have had it for probably 35 years and it is raggedy and tattered, but I still turn to it for many old faves! So - I am looking forward to trying this soup!) Heidi, thanks to you for the many recipes you've contributed to my repertoire in the past 2 years or so. Everything I've made receives high honors from family and guests!

    Donna
  • This bread looks delicious, I will have to give it a go over the weekend. Beautiful photos!

    emma. our ktichen
  • isabel, anise (fennel flavor) seeds are classic morrocan... used in flatbreads there pretty regularly. yummy, but usually at a low enough level to be relatively innocuous. Also can't wait to finish up the semester and start the holiday baking. this definitely makes the to do list, but with sesame instead of poppy seeds.

    stephanie
  • I forgot to ask: is it really important to leave the dough overnight, or can I just leave it stand for just a few hours? Thanks!

    Maninas
  • Sounds fantastic! I love the first photo in particular. I really like the idea of adding the seeds to the flatbread. I must try that soon.

    Maninas
  • I live in SF, as well. As a former midwesterner, I forget what "real" cold feels like....this 45-50 degree weather feels like a blizzard to me! :) Delicious looking recipe.

    BethT @ Pretty By The Bay
  • There is something very attracting in the word Seeded.... I am fortunate to have bought a wheat mill in the 70's, and enjoy making my own fresh whole wheat flour. I tried your Ginger cookies with spelt and ww flour and the fresh ginger flecks with shaved chocolate. They were wonderful! I refer everyone I meet to your site! I can hear your notes on whole seeds (like millet) breaking teeth. I have an Italian friend who makes fantastic bread in one of those long.... angel food pans. I loved his bread in which he throws in so many grains and brans and wheat germ etc., but had to be honest about his whole millet. EEK! Try $3000 worth of bridges if a cracked tooth can't be saved... Just a note on other seeds: Sunflower seeds or whole flax seeds (which can't be digested, and are often found for 'health' in cookies and breads) can get caught in the intestinal folds and cause days of gas and misery for those with diverticulitis, etc. or leanings towards it, like colitis. So, poppy seeds can still delight, whereas swallowing an unchewed sunflower seed can be a distant reminder of a great recipe..for a few unhappy days, for some. Obviously, each to his own. I have a great recipe for onion cheese bread with poppyseeds on top that I'll put on my blog...

    Pamela
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