Baking has its share of complex classics: layered phyllo crusts, flaky croissants, lofty souffles. But baking can be basic, too. Enter flatbread! It’s called “flat” because it isn’t leavened by means of yeast, chemicals (baking soda or baking powder), or air (nothing is folded or whipped). Rather, it celebrates the fact that it’s simply, blessedly flat. Zero special techniques required — if you can wield a rolling pin, you can roll out flatbread. And if you have a nice hot oven, you’ll get a sheet of crispy/chewy flatbread that you can tear into fun irregular shapes. Think of them as DIY crackers!
I’ve opted to include rosemary and freshly cracked peppercorns in my flatbread, but feel free to use whatever herbs or spices you like…or none at all. I do think, though, that flatbread is greatly enhanced by herbs, particularly the “Italian seasoning” family of rosemary, sage, oregano, basil, thyme, and marjoram. Those seem to pair beautifully with anything and everything, whereas some spice blends (curry powder and chili powder spring to mind) are best when served within their respective cuisines. But baking is all about experimentation! Go with whatever flavor strikes your whimsy.
1/2 cup amaranth flour*
1/2 cup almond flour*
1/2 cup coconut flour*
1/2 cup sesame flour* (grind toasted sesame seeds in a coffee/spice grinder or a small blender)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup + 2 T. water
Preheat oven to 425F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and rosemary. Drizzle in oil and water, then use your hands to mix the dough into a ball. If the dough seems too sticky — if it won’t let go of your hands — add a little more amaranth flour. If the dough is falling apart, add another tablespoon of water. You want a dough that balls easily but that isn’t too wet or sticky.
Place dough on parchment-covered baking sheet and roughly smash down. Cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, using even pressure and rotating the pan 90 degrees every few strokes to get an evenly-rolled-out layer of dough that extends to the edges of the baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes or until golden-brown on the edges. Flatbread should be firm when tapped. Let cool completely on a wire rack before breaking into rough chunks. Store completely cooled flatbread in airtight container for up to a week.
* These are gluten-free flours. If you’d rather make a wheat-based version, substitute 1 cup kamut, spelt, barley, or whole-wheat flour for the amaranth and coconut flours. Do use the 1/2 cup each of almond and fresh-ground sesame flours, though, because they impart a rich nuttiness to the flatbread that wheat can’t provide.