These flat-breads don’t have any added leavening, making them unleavened bread. They get their texture from kneading or working the dough for 10-minutes to develop the gluten in the flour. You can do this by hand kneading the dough, or by putting it into your bread machine and letting it do the work for you. This recipe makes 4 pieces. If you don’t want to do all of this work for only 4-pieces of bread, you can double the recipe and make 8 pieces instead. It’s almost the same amount of work, for double the end product. Once cooked these keep for several days at room temperature, or a bit longer in the fridge. They can be reheated on a skillet or baked in a slow oven until warm if you prefer. Serve with any bean or lentil dish.
(also known as Unleavened Bread or Fry-Bread)
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons oil or melted fat (1/2-tablespoon)
- 1/2 cup tap water
Mixing by Hand
Simply combine everything in a bowl and stir it until you get a smooth dough. If it’s a little dry you may add more water. If it’s a little wet you may add more flour. Knead by hand, in the bowl for about 10-minues. Measure it by the clock because you will be tempted to stop too soon. This kneading is what makes the resulting dough tender, so don’t skip on it. When you are done kneading the dough it should have a firm, clay-like consistency
After kneading cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 30-minutes or overnight if you prefer. You let the roll sit so the gluten will have a chance to relax, which makes the flat-bread easier to roll out.
Mixing by Bread Machine
Measure all of the ingredients into the machine’s bread pan. Start the machine and allow it to mix and knead the dough for you. Set your timer for 10 minutes, or watch the clock. When the time is up, turn off the machine. You should have a nice stiff ball of dough inside of it with a clay-like consistency. Allow the dough to rest inside the machine for at least 30 minutes, or as long as overnight. It won’t rise because it doesn’t have yeast in it.
Rolling & Shaping the Dough
After the dough has rested, divide it into 4-pieces. Dust each piece with flour, pat it out into a circle and place it on a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper. Use a rollin-pin to roll the bread out into a thin circle. Try to get it as thin as you can, but not see-through. The thinner the flat-bread, the more tender it will be.
To Make Unleavened Bread
Roll out all the dough first. Then heat a large iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Do not oil the pan, you want it to be dry and hot. Flop on a flat-bread. Let it cook for 10 to 15 seconds, then flip it over. Allow the second side to cook for about 45 to 60-seconds. Flip it again and cook for another 45 seconds. The bread will have a few brown spots. It will be puffed and tender with a few bubbles dotting the surface. Flop the cooked flat-bread onto a plate and then continue on to the next one. Keep going until all of the breads are cooked.
To Make Fry-Bread
Roll out all of the dough first, because this goes fast, and you need to watch the oil while the bread cooks.
After rolling out all of the flat-breads heat a large, deep skillet over high or medium-high heat. Add enough shortening or vegetable oil to measure at least 1/2-inch deep. You want the oil to be almost smoking hot, or about 375°. Carefully slip a flat-bread into the hot oil. Press it down with tongs or a fork to submerge it in the oil. You will see the bread form bubbles all over the surface of the dough as it puffs up. Fry until the underside is lightly browned. Flip and brown the second side. Use tongs or a fork to carefully remove the bread from the oil. Lay it on a plate lined with paper towels or a few sheets of paper ripped from an old phone book. Continue on to the next fry-bread.
Be careful while frying the breads because hot oil can burn the snot out of you if you aren’t careful. After preparing all of the fry-breads allow the oil to cool. It can be strained and kept in the fridge to be used again at another time. If you use shortening then allow it to cool until it’s still liquid, but not hot. Strain it into a clean, empty can. Cover with tin foil or a lid and store it in the pantry until needed again.