Hot flatbread is a treasure. Its easy with practice, or if you are Mark Bitman, simple right off the block. I experimented with his 4-ingredient (one is water) flatbread from his NYT's article. I am not a purist, so I added black pepper to the batter and sesame seeds on top.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup flour
(good flour counts in a recipe like this. I'm using King Arthur's 12 grain, which is superior)
1 big pinch salt
8 grinds pepper from a mill
1-1 1/4 cup water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile in a 10-12 inch skillet, over medium heat, warm up the olive oil. The oil should generously coat the bottom of the skillet. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. I mixed mine up in a medium cereal bowl, because this isn't a giant recipe. Whisk in 1 cup of water, mix until mostly combined. Add remaining water until batter resembles thick pancake batter. Add to the skillet, top with sesame seeds, and place entire skillet in the oven. Bake 50 minutes, cool, and serve.
I had great crust on my flatbread, but the center was moist like a bad pancake. I probably need a bigger skillet for this recipe. It could almost be called fried crust, as there isn't much rising action or other flavor to define the bread. I am excited to try making the bread with beer in place of half the water, or try another with a dollop of tahini to complete the sesame seeds on top.
Orginally Posted 6/4/09