Somethings are easier to see than to read – if you’re interested in learning how to make rye flatbread at home, take a look at the following pictures – we’ll explain what they all mean at the end (as well as showing you what it looks like). Before you begin, know that this is a hearty flatbread that’s ideal for soups and stews that’s best served as it’s made (I keep them in a warm oven as I make my batch and serve at the end).
Know that this process is more akin to making pancakes than baking bread – you’ll see what we mean as you go through the pictures:
- 2.25 cups of white flour
- .75 cups of rye flour (you could alter this ratio – the more rye flour, the denser the final product will be)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 0.75-1 cup of cold water
- 0.25 cups of light oil (grape seed or vegetable will do) to use at the end of the process.
- Although you can knead by hand, I cheat by using the plastic blade of a food processor. Start by mixing dry ingredients followed by pouring the water in. You want to mix it until the ingredients appear to be pea-shaped balls. You should end up with a slightly sticky dough (if it’s overly sticky add a bit of flour at a time and if it’s dry add a bit of flour at a time). You’re aiming for a total of about 30 seconds of blending. The more you blend the tougher it will be, the less you blend, the more likely it is that things will fall apart and natural gluten will not have a chance to develop (gluten, among other things, give bread texture). If you go longer than 30 seconds, don’t through it all out – just use as a learning experience (this is as much art as science).
- Form your dough into a ball and cover. Leave in a warm place for 1-3 hours. It won’t raise much here (there’s no added yeast).
- Lightly dust your rolling surface/ cutting board with flour. Roll the dough into a log. Cut into equal pieces. I made 16 pieces so that I could cook 4 pieces at a time in my small cast-iron pan (they were 4.5-6 inches each). I started by cutting the loaf in half, cutting that half in half and so forth until I had 16 pieces that were roughly the same size.
- Each disk is roughly flattened (this isn’t fancy work) at this point and dredged lightly in flour. This will prevent pieces from sticking to each other and makes it easier to roll out each one later.
- Using a rolling-pin, flatten each piece. You could technically cook then at this point but the next steps will add texture to them.
- Lightly kiss each side with the oil (I use a brush for the first few and then use residual oil on the cutting board as the process goes on).
- Roll each piece like a mini-cigar.
- Roll the cigars into cinnamon-roll type shapes.
- Lightly flatten the cinnamon rolls – this is a bit of an art again. If you flatten them too flat you will lose the benefit; too thin and they will be tough to cut. The worse case scenario is that you over-flatten and they end up essentially identical to how you first rolled them out (not the end of the world).
- Warm a pan (I use cast iron) over medium heat. Add only enough oil that the surface glistens without pooling (you’re not frying these, just distributing heat). Cook over medium high, flipping a few times to ensure they cook but don’t burn. If they end up burnt on the surface and don’t cook through, you’re too hot. If they cook through but don’t brown, you’re too cold. I put them in the pot just before the pan starts to smoke (i.e. considerable heat).
- Keep completed breads in the over around 300 degrees (once warm, turn the oven off and keep the door closed).
That’s it folks! These are ideal fall food and awesome with a thick stew or chilli.
Does anyone make any variations of these? We’d love to hear from you!