I am super particular about food (everything) when I’m sick. I want a bowl of tomato soup. I want a small stack of crackers to crush and sprinkle over top. And I want to be left alone. That last one hasn’t happened in the last 2 years and 361 days but a girl can dream. (side note: I’m 4 days away from owning a real live 3 year old!)
The soup, it must be the canned and condensed stuff. The crackers, they must be the buttery rectangles made by crafty little elves that live in a tree. And the bowl, it must be one of the souvenir bowls with a handle that we bought years ago when we took our first ski trip together.
If I’m spending my weekend on the couch with a bendy straw in a bottle of cherry NyQuil, there isn’t really anything negotiable on that list. I want to be waited on, I want to moan and groan (because what fun is misery if you can’t spread it around a little), and I want sleep the day away.
But if we’re talking about one of those precious two days a week when I have the entire house all to myself? The protocol is different. I find I have a little (a lot) more motivation those days. Enough motivation to tackle, say, a simple flatbread recipe.
Since my taste buds were still slightly numbed from the cold, I decided to top those flatbreads with an “everything” mixture for more flavor – it’s not just for bagels or burger buns! Fresh from the oven, the breads are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.
The downside. Like a baguette, there’s nothing in the bread (oil, eggs, etc) to help it keep for more than a day. So if you’re going to make the breads, make them and then plan to eat them that day if you can (the sheer addictiveness of fresh bread from the oven will make this possible) and reheat them in the microwave for maximum enjoyability.
Crispy Persian flatbreads topped with a flavorful "everything" topping.
- For the dough:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast (1/2 envelope)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as necessary
- 1 tsp salt
- Oil for greasing bowl and baking sheet
- For the flour paste:
- 1/2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Cornmeal, for baking sheet
- For the Everything topping:
- 2 tsp dried minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried minced onion
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 2 tsp sesame seeds (I have a black & white mixture)
- Add the water to the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle yeast over top, letting proof for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt, and knead for 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and only slightly sticky.
- If the dough doesn't mostly form into a ball after ~2 minutes, add an extra 2-4 Tbsp of flour.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet and divide the dough into 4 pieces. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450 and place a baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, heat the oil and whisk in the flour, sugar, and water until mostly smooth.
- Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, and then remove from heat to cool.
- In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the everything topping.
- Generously sprinkle cornmeal onto a sheet of parchment or a pizza peel (or something else to help you transfer the dough onto the heated pan in the oven).
- Gently stretch a piece of dough into an oval on the peel, lifting the dough and adding additional cornmeal to prevent it from sticking (this is important).
- Spread flour paste over the top of the dough and use your fingers to press lines or dimples into the dough.
- Sprinkle with a generous spoonful of everything topping and transfer the dough to the oven.
- Repeat for the remaining dough (I formed and baked two at a time), baking each for ~15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Best enjoyed as fresh as possible.
- Extra flour paste can be discarded, extra everything topping can be stored in a zip-top bag.
Yields: 4 loaves
Estimated time: 3 hours