Tigelle (Italian Flatbreads)

Tigelle (Italian Flatbreads)
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tigelle, cheese, lettuce, and carrots
Italian flatbreads for lunch.

We’re always on the lookout for new flatbread recipes to make up a quick, fresh bread to go with just about any meal, so, when we saw this recipe for a version of Italian flatbreads, we were quite excited to try it out. From the description and the ingredients, we thought that it might be like a buttery version of naan or pita breads, but one that would come together in only an hour. Wow! Sounds like something to scratch up!

The recipe comes from Classico e Moderno, by Michael White and Andrew Friedman, although, as you’ll read, we think there was definitely something wrong with the proportions of the ingredients. We’ve tried to fix it, but we can’t be sure it’s what the authors intended. If you look in the book, you’ll also see that we halved the recipe.

Make 8 tigelle.

Tigelle (Italian Flat Breads)

Tigelle (Italian Flat Breads)


  • 1 3/4 cup (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk (original recipe called for 2 Tbs)

Abbreviated Instructions

Put flour, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine.

Distribute butter in flour and pulse until the butter is cut in and the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

With the processor running, slowly add milk until a dough forms.

Knead on a work surface until smooth, then cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.

Divide dough into eight equal pieces and roll into 3-4 inch disks.

Grill over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on a side.


Ingredient discussion:

Of course, unsalted butter is a must. No salt-lick tasting flat breads for us, thank you. One thing we do point out is that the original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of milk. If you can make it work with that amount, then more power to you. We had to add about 1/2 cup of milk to get the dough to form, so, either the amount of flour is too much, or the amount of liquid is too little. The amount we used is in the recipe list above.

Procedure in detail:

Pulse dry ingredients. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. We use a scale to measure out the flour, it’s a bit easier. Once you’ve measured everything, fit the bowl onto the machine and give it a couple of pulses to mix everything together.

Drop the chunks of butter over the surface of the flour mixture an pulse 'em in.
Drop the chunks of butter over the surface of the flour mixture and pulse ’em in.

Add butter. Open up the machine and toss the butter chunks on top. Give it a few pulses to cut the butter into the flour mixture. It will look like coarse crumbs. We have the problem that flour shoots out of the gaps between the bowl and the lid, so we set the whole machine right into the sink for easy cleanup.

cut in butter
Once the butter is cut in, the mixture will resemble coarse crumbs.



adding milk
Slowly drizzle in the milk, stopping when the dough forms. It will ride on top of the blade.

Add milk. With the processor running, add the milk in a slow steady stream until the dough comes together.

tigelle dough
While it looks crumbly, it does stick together when a piece is pinched between the thumb and fingers.



tigelle dough
After a quick kneading session, cover the dough and refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow it to relax.

Knead. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for a minute or two until it’s smooth.

Chill. Cover the dough. You could wrap it in plastic, or, do as we do, and set it in a bowl with plate on top. Place dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

cutting douh
Cut the dough into eight equal pieces for rolling into disks.

Divide and roll. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a disk about 3 to 4 inches across. Place on a baking tray and cover with a towel.

tigelle disks
Ours aren’t quite disks; we made something more rustic.

Rest. Let the dough disks rest for about 30 minutes. This will help the dough relax a bit, and it should rise and soften ever so slightly.

grilling tigelle
Grill them up until they no longer look raw and have begun to brown in spots.

Grill. Heat up a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and, when hot, grill the flat breads for about 2 minutes on a side, or until browned in spots and the dough no longer looks raw.

Serve immediately.

We made these up to go along with a light lunch of cheese, lettuce, and carrot shreds, with the intent of making small sandwiches. As we were making them, we started to get worried about how the breads would turn out. First, there was the milk issue described above; secondly, they just didn’t seem to knead up all that well. It was as if there still wasn’t enough milk. As we thought about it, there was very little in the ingredients list to add flavor or to give these breads a lift while grilling. As it turns out, we were right; the breads turned out to be sort of a cross between a bread and a cracker, with very little flavor. They weren’t bad, exactly, but they weren’t good, either. Instead, they reminded us of something you might make when there’s nothing else in the house. Something that will hold body and soul together, but will leave you wanting more in the way of flavor. We doubt that we’ll use this recipe again, although we might hit the Internet in search of another tigelle recipe. Three stars.

Worth the trouble?

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