I love flatbread. Not as much as I love cheese. But close.
You can roll it up with romaine and caesar salad dressing (link) and eat them like burritos. Or you can rip and dip into chutney,. Or spread them with hummus and stuff with homemade slaw.
That’s all in theory, of course.
The trouble with my flatbread is that it almost always turns out more like a frisbee and less like foodstuff. I dropped one of the early trials of this recipe on the floor. The dog picked it up and ran with it. Then came back for me to “throw” it again. Truth.
I mean, it’s always salvageable. Bake them to death, crack them up, and call ’em, um, crackers.
But if I was cooking these for company and, let’s say I overcooked them? I’d be fancy and call them crisp breads. Better yet, I’d put them in a bread basket and wrap them in a stunning linen origami napkin (if I knew origami) and wait for a guest to name them. Probably in the form of a question, e.g., “is this blabbity blah blah?
And I’d say, “Why yes, yes it is! How clever of you to notice!”
And I’d be wearing a turquoise chapeau. It would be made of silk and netting and I’d wear it tilted to the left.
But I digress.
Photos Tell the Story
Kids, look at that flatbread. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
It’s gorgeous. And it’s made from sweet potatoes. And no fat. None. Zero.
And I tested 17 billion recipes, so you don’t have to in order to get this scrumptiously autumnal flatbread. You’re welcome.
Turning a Flatbread Corner
Speckled with spices and spotted with fresh cilantro, this flatbread is tasty. Slightly sweet from the potatoes. Warmed with classic Indian spices. Tingly on the tongue — thank you finely minced serrano pepper.
And supple. Yes, that is my least favorite word…right behind moist.
It’s lovely to look at and pliable. Roll it. Twist it. Fold it. Whatever kink or bend floats your boat.
Tips (Read this before cooking!)
I steamed my sweet potatoes in my instant cooker. Easy peasy. The sweet potatoes need to be soft.
The amount of flour is the amount I used in this recipe. Your results may vary depending on the amount of “juice” in your sweet potatoes and the humidity and temperature in your kitchen.
Do NOT use all whole wheat flour, unless you can use whole wheat pastry flour and then further refine it in your food processor. The extra bits in the whole wheat flour can make them tough! Plus, jeez, if you have time to further refine your flour, you need more hobbies or a J-O-B.
When the dough comes together in a ball without much stick, for god’s sake stop pushing and poking it. If you overwork the dough they will be tough.
Do NOT roll them out in whole wheat flour. Use white flour to roll out, and use it generously on both the counter surface and the rolling pin (or, in my case, a bottle of Syrah — my rolling pin is on holiday somewhere in a shipping box).
Tenderly spank the residual rolling-out flour off each flatbread before putting in the hot pan. If you don’t, the raw flour will cook and burn, and you’ll have a frisbee. Just gently toss the thin, raw flatbread between your hands OVER THE COUNTER. This is important because if you rely on your dogs to lick it off the kitchen floor, they will pass right by the flour. Which means a sweep-up job for you. And who needs that in their day?
If you use a cast iron fry pan and it gets too hot in the process of cooking each flatbread, carefully flip it over onto the burner upside-down and “fry” on the bottom of the pan.
Do NOT leave the flatbread in the hot pan for more than 30 seconds at a time. Constantly flip 3 or 4 times — 30 seconds at a time. Remember, they will get firmer as they cool.
Sweet Potato Flatbread
Flatbread is underrated. Eat it slathered in chutney or apple butter for breakfast. Dip in a steaming bowl of hot curry. Roll up a salad and take it for lunch. Yumz.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, steamed in their jackets
- 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/3 tsp onion powder
- 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- minced coriander to taste
- minced hot pepper (like serrano) to taste
- Step 1 While potatoes are still warm from the steamer (or instant pot) remove the skin.
- Step 2 In a large bowl, mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
- Step 3 In a medium bowl, measure all spices and combine them with both the white flour and whole wheat pastry flour.
- Step 4 Add the flour mixture, a half cup at a time, to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix in enough flour so that you can form a ball with the dough. It will be sticky.
- Step 5 If desired, add minced fresh coriander and minced hot pepper and mix into the dough.
- Step 6 Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
- Step 7 Divide the dough ball into 16 walnut-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and set aside.
- Step 8 Take one little ball and flatten it into a disc. Repeat that process until all your balls are flattish discs.
- Step 9 Put a heavy fry pan over medium heat to get it very hot. I used a well-worn and well-seasoned cast iron fry pan.
- Step 10 On a well floured surface, roll out the first disc until very thin — 1-2 mm.
- Step 11 Place the rolled out flatbread onto the fry pan. Wait until small bubbles form (should take 30-40 seconds) and flip. Continue to flip at 30 second intervals until the bread is speckled with brown spots but still very pliable.
- Step 12 While the first flatbread is in the pan, roll out the second disc. Yes, this counts as exercise. Remember to roll on a well floured surface, and after the first pass with the roller, jiggle the disc to loosen it from the floured surface.
- Step 13 Remove the first cooked flatbread from the hot pan and replace it with the next onee. Repeat the 30-second flips until done.
- Step 14 Repeat the rolling and cooking process for what seems like forever, or until your last flatbread is beautifully speckled.
- Step 15 Remove each flatbread to a towel-lined plate and keep them covered. Keep adding each cooked piece to the pile and re-cover the plate with the towel.
- Step 16 Serve right away. Or wrap them in foil and store on the counter. Reheat if you must, but wrap in lightly dampened paper towel before you microwave.