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