Open Air Camp Kitchen: Flatbread Recipe
Text and images by Jonathan
These are a lovely campfire treat, which you can whip up in the great outdoors (if transporting the dry ingredients together, make sure you keep the salt and yeast separate until you come to make them), or prepare the dough in advance and cook them on your stove.
Ingredients (makes about 12):
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour
- 10g Salt
- 10g Instant Yeast
- 30g Unsalted Butter
- 300ml Water (preferably warm, but not scolding)
NB: If you’re planning on making these at camp, make sure you keep the salt and yeast separate when transporting the dry ingredients, otherwise the salt might kill the yeast and you’ll have very flatbreads.
To make the dough, put the flour and butter in a bowl, then add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Add most of the water, then mix with your hands to bring the mixture together. Gradually add the remaining water until all the flour is mixed in. Gently knead the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes until it begins to feel smooth and silky. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave it (ideally in a warm place) to rise for at least an hour until the dough has doubled in size. The gluten in the dough should have developed and made the dough more stretchy and elastic. Fold the dough repeatedly until all the air is knocked out of it, then tear it into 12 equal pieces and roll each of them into a ball.
One of the great things about this recipe is that the dough is really versatile. It could be used as the base for making home-made pizzas, or even as a basic naan if you add a teaspoon of sugar, some nigella seeds and a little extra butter. Yum!
To make plain flatbreads, flatten them out and leave them for about 15 minutes to rise slightly. Cook them in a little bit of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each size. If they start to blister a little, that’s good, but be careful not to burn them!
Alternatively, you can make filled versions. Roll the dough into a ball and make an indentation in the middle. The choice of filling is up to you; you could use cheese, pesto, or sun-dried tomato paste, for example, but my favourite is aivar/ajvar – a paste made from roasted peppers and aubergines. Wrap the dough around the filling and press it closed with your fingers to seal it up. Flatten out, leave for 15 mins and cook as above.
The dough will keep (wrapped) in the fridge for up to a couple of days and can be frozen for a while longer. You could freeze it and let it defrost in your pack while you hike!