I spied a sort of recipe for skillet flatbread over at Mark Bittman’s blog a few weeks ago and bookmarked it immediately. It peaked my interest because of its simplicity, its use of Whole Wheat flour and because it doesn’t take yeast. My impatient self loves that. Apparently, it’s also impossible to mess up. The author (Kerri Conan) says you can substitute any kind of whole grain flour and can play with the measurements of the flour and the water depending on whether you want something soft and “custardy” or nice and crisp. I went with the crisp. This kind of improvised, non-exact recipe is exactly how I like to cook!
And the flatbread was wonderful. Simple, hearty and ridiculously easy to make. Five ingredients and 45 minutes is all you need before you’re enjoying the crisp, warm pita-like bread. We topped ours with some freshly grilled and marinated graffiti eggplant, feta cheese and oil-cured black olives. Very delicious on a hot Sunday afternoon. Especially when eaten on a paper towel pool-side.
You can also pile it with pizza toppings and put it under the broiler for a few minutes. It’s not quite as soft and chewy as regular pizza dough, but works well if you have no time or patience for the dough to rise. I also think this would make a beautiful appetizer for guests simply topped with cheese, fresh produce and herbs and cut into pretty squares. Or a simple, sweet snack with cheese, figs and honey.
Whole Wheat Skillet Flatbread
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. cornmeal
1.5 cups water
big pinch salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°. While the oven heats, add the olive oil to a 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet (a smaller skillet will yield a thicker flatbread) and swirl it around until the entire pan is coated, then place it in the oven to heat up as well.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, water and salt in a bowl and set aside. Once the oven reaches 400°, remove the preheated pan and pour the batter into it. It’ll sizzle and bubble, and that’s ok. Bake it for 30 – 35 minutes, then flip it and bake for another 5 minutes or so until it reaches your desired crispness.
Cut into wedges and serve, or add toppings and run it under the broiler for a few minutes for something pizza-like.