Flatbread Dough

This flatbread dough recipe serves as base on which you build the recipes for several kinds of flatbreads, including Simple Focaccia, Flatbread with Feta and Mint, Turkish Flatbread, and Flatbread with Zaatar, Tomatoes and Olives.

INGREDIENTS
1-3/4 tsp dry active yeast
2 Cups warm water (about 105°F)
2 Tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil, plus more for bowl
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp Kosher Salt
4 Cups bread flour, plus 1 Cup

STEPS

Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the warm water in a mixing bowl. Allow mixture to stand, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes, until mixture becomes foamy. Add oil, sugar, and salt to yeast mixture and mix on lowest speed until well combined.

Add bread flour, 1/2 Cup at a time, and mix until dough comes together, adding additional flour if necessary.

Lightly flour your work surface and use a wooden spatula or spoon to transfer the dough over from the mixing bowl. Knead dough on the floured work surface until it feels smooth and supple, about 10 to 15 minutes of kneading by hand.

Coat the inside surface of a medium-sized bowl with a few teaspoons of olive oil, and transfer the kneaded dough to the bowl. Cover dough bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours.

1) To use as the dough for making focaccia bread, follow these instructions:

Pour 1/2 Cup of oil into a jellyroll pan. Drop prepared flatbread dough into the pan. Using your fingertips, push the dough down while stretching it out, repeating until the dough stretches to reach the edge of the oiled pan. Work your fingers, poking all the way through the dough to create focaccia with the characteristic “lumpy” quality. This also will keep the dough from rising too high and too unevenly while it is baking.

Cover the jellyroll pan with a clean kitchen towel and set the pan in a warm, draft-free place, allowing it to rise until the height of the dough doubles (30 – 60 min). Preheat oven to 450°F. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top of the risen dough. Liberally sprinkle the top of the oiled bread with sea salt or your preferred salt blend.

Bake focaccia until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the bread to cool, in the pan, on a wire rack. When bread is cool enough to handle, remove gently from pan, transfer to a cutting board, and serve immediately.

2) To use this dough as the base for a flatbread, follow the recipes for one of these dishes: