I’ve been making my version of this flatbread recipe by Nigel Slater (taken from the kitchen diaries) for years now. If you’re struggling to get hold of bread in these strange times, but have a bag of flour, dried yeast and olive oil, you can whip up six flatbreads in an hour and a half.
They’re called flatbreads but are actually puffed up slipper-shaped loaves, which I split in half and turn into sandwiches or just rip up and dip into soup. My seven month old enjoys them sliced into fingers and toasted, while I love them the next morning sliced and spread with butter and honey as an accompaniment to hot tea. Their beauty lies in the fact they’re so quick.
Recipe (makes 6 loaves)
500g strong white flour (I use plain white spelt flour)
half a teaspoon salt (I use sea salt and go a bit easier when baking for baby)
1 tsp dried yeast
350ml warm water (lukewarm, not too hot or it kills the yeast)
2 tbsps olive oil
I make these loaves by hand. Measure the flour, salt and yeast into a mixing bowl – no need to sift. Add the water and olive oil, stirring together with a wooden spoon. Turn onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to add more flour. The dough will seem sticky at first but if you persevere and keep kneading, it will become more supple and manageable.
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for one hour away from draughts. Pre-heat the oven to stonking hot – 240ºC (fan 220ºC)/Gas 9. Line a couple of flat trays with greaseproof paper. Break the dough into six even sized pieces, lay onto the trays and push each into a rough slipper shape. Bake in the top of the oven for 5 minutes. Now, turn the oven down to 220ºC (fan 200ºC)/Gas 7 and continue baking for a further 5 minutes. When baked, the underside will sound hollow.