It’s been a little bit warmer than usual here on the west coast for the past couple of days. In fact, it’s been downright hot. I’ve been spending a lot of time indoors and, while that usually means I’m going to do even more baking than usual, have had only a minimal desire to turn on my oven and risk heating up my kitchen. Instead, I’ve been outside grilling. Funny how standing near a hot bbq for a couple of minutes makes anything else seem cool and refreshing, isn’t it?
Meat and veggies are easy choices for grilling, but there is no reason that you can’t cook even more things outside on the grill. This grilled flat-bread is a simple and quick bread to make that goes with a huge variety of mains. The recipe starts off as a pizza dough that has roasted garlic mixed into it before being rolled out thin and tossed on the grill. The bread cooks very quickly, so you need to keep an eye on it, and will be ready to eat in minutes once you get it going. I brushed mine with olive oil and sprinkled them with coarse sea salt before I took them off the heat.
As a twist, I added a bit of barley flour to get some whole grains into the recipe. If you don’t have barley flour, feel free to use whole wheat or just use another 1/2 cup of cake flour. I used dried, minced roasted garlic in this recipe because – as I mentioned before – I didn’t feel inclined to turn on my oven to roast a head of garlic. Both are totally acceptable here. If you opt for the freshly roasted garlic, keep in mind that it will have a slightly stronger flavor than the dried garlic, so if you prefer a very mild garlic flavor, reduce the amount the recipe calls for slightly.
The breads are really tasty. They’re a bit crisp around the edges coming off the grill, but have a lovely chewy consistency that is fantastic with all kinds of dips. The barley flour flavor wasn’t really apparent, masked by the olive oil and garlic. They’re good enough to fire up the grill even if you’re planning on just cooking pasta for dinner, and can also be used to make flatbread sandwiches.
Roasted Garlic Grilled Flatbread
(plain flatbread recipe here)
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water, slightly warm (100-110F)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup barley flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dried, minced roasted garlic (or fresh roasted)
olive oil and sea salt, for topping
In a small bowl, combine yeast and water. Stir to dissolve.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flours, salt, sugar and garlic and pulse to blend. Then, turn on the motor and gradually stream in the water/yeast mixture. Continue to whizz dough for 1-2 minutes, until dough becomes very smooth and satiny (feel free to stop the motor and check the texture with a touch). Add an extra tablespoon or two of all purpose flour if the dough becomes too sticky or if the humidity is very high in your area.
Divide dough into four pieces and shape each into a tight ball. Place on a very lightly floured surface and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a slightly damp, clean dish towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Working with one ball of dough at a time, place on a lightly floured surface.
Flatten the dough into a thin disk, stretching the edges gently until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Shape is unimportant, but rustic breads look a bit prettier!
Place dough on a tray and repeat with remaining dough balls.
Turn on your grill, heating it up to 500F (or “high” if yours doesn’t have a reliable temperature gauge).
Grease grill lightly with oil or cooking spray. Place each piece on the grill and close the top of the bbq. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, cooking until browned.
Keep the grill closed for the first minute or so to help jump-start the cooking process (so all the heat doesn’t escape). Brush second side with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt before removing from the grill to serve.
Makes 4 flatbreads; serves 4-8.