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Easy Grilled Flatbread

grilled flatbread in progress

 The great thing about grilling is that you can cook your entire meal outside on the same surface. Everything is quick, there is little cleanup and you don’t heat up the house on a hot day. Meats and veggiesare standards at any cookout, and it is increasingly common to do desserts on the grill, as well. But baked goods don’t get much grill time - unless you’re talking about toasting hot dog buns – which is a shame, because a hot grill is a great place to cook some types of breads. Pizzais one that springs to mind. Flatbread is another.

This flatbread starts out with a really good pizza dough recipethat is actually made in the food processor. I chose to use this type of dough because I knew from previous experience that it would cook up quickly, with a light, airy interior. Pizza really is a type of flatbread, after all, so a pizza dough is bound to be a better choice than, say, plain bread dough (something to keep in mind if you want to try this with storebough dough, like the kind they sell at TJs).

The dough needs one hour to rise, after which time it can be rolled out and grilled. I chose to stretch mine into oblong shapes so that they would fit well on the grill. You can make yours in rounds, if you prefer. The dough took only a few minutes to cook on each side and came out slightly crisp with a light crust on the outside and moist and tender inside. It was great for dipping in hummus, although it would work well with most dips and could even be split in two to make a panini-type sandwich.

Once the breads are pulled from the grill, they are ready to eat as-is. If you want to make them a little more interesting, quickly rub the hot breads with some butter and sprinkle with coarse salt (or garlic salt) before serving.

pile o’ grilled flatbread 

Easy Grilled Flatbread
1 1/4 tsp instant or active dry yeast
1 cup water, slightly warm (100-110F)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

In a small bowl, combine yeast and water. Stir to dissolve.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flours, salt and sugar 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 of 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 6-inch disk, then stretch the edges gently until the dough is an oblong shape, about 4-inches by 9 inches, tapering at the ends.
Recover dough as you work with subsequent pieces.
Turn on your grill, heating it up to 500F (or “high” if yours doesn’t have a reliable temperature gauge).
Grease grill 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. You want to keep the grill closed for the first minute or so to help jump-start the cooking process (so all the heat doesn’t escape), but you should definitely open it for a check before too much time has passed. The breads are thin and cooking them too long in a closed bbq will result in “cajun style” (i.e. blackened) flatbreads.
Serve immediately, or quickly rub the hot breads with some butter and sprinkle with coarse salt (or garlic salt) before serving.

Makes 4 flatbreads.

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  • Lydia
    August 15, 2007

    This kind of bread wouldn’t last two minutes in my house — we’d be eating it right off the grill!

  • Susan
    August 15, 2007

    Fantastic! Last year when my oven was broken I experimented with using the grill as an oven, without too much success. I never though of flatbread — I’m not going to wait for my oven to break down again to make these.

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