Heather Thomas of The Mindful Kitchen shares her recipe for flatbread. All you need is flour, salt, oil and milk.
Archaeobotanists have discovered that flatbread is a staple of human vitality that predates the agricultural revolution.
“As early as 14,400 years ago, nomadic hunter-gatherers were making flatbread,” says Thomas. “Imagine foraging for wild cereals, de-husking them, grinding them with stones, mixing them with water, kneading bread and baking it on hot stones over an open fire. Without romanticising the labour, I like to consider how connected to the full cycle of nature those humans must have felt preparing and eating this simple flatbread.”
INGREDIENTS (makes 4)
300 g/10½ oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
50 ml/2 fl oz olive oil 185 ml/6½ fl oz oat milk
½-1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for cooking
Combine the flour, salt, oil and oat milk in a bowl to make a soft dough. Sprinkle the work surface with flour, turn out the dough and knead for a few minutes until it is smooth. Add another teaspoon or two of flour if it is too sticky.
Wrap the dough in a tea towel and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Dust the work surface with flour again. Cut your dough into four even pieces, roll into balls, then roll out into thin rounds (about 0.5 cm/¼ inch thick).
Spread the oil evenly across a non-stick frying pan and place over a medium heat. Place one flatbread in the pan. It will puff up on one side and when it does flip it and cook the other side. If it puffs up too much, pat it gently to break the air bubble. You are looking for golden brown spots on both sides. Keep flipping until you are happy. Use your fingers as well as a spatula for the process. It should take around 2 minutes to cook each flatbread.
Stack the cooked bread on a plate as you make the rest and keep a tea towel to hand to cover the bread and trap in the heat.
Tip: You can make flatbread in advance and freeze them. Ensure they are completely cool and pat them with kitchen paper to ensure the surface is dry. Stack them in a freezer-proof container, layered with baking paper, and place them in the freezer. When you want to use some, remove them from the freezer to thaw. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2, then add a drop or two of water to each flatbread and place in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm.
Heather Thomas’ flatbread recipe has been reproduced with permission from her new book The Mindful Kitchen published by Ivy Press, $45.
The Mindful Kitchen infuses everyday eating with simple nature-related rituals to reinforce thoughts as positive actions. A feast of sustainably-led recipes, philosophical notes and questions to ponder are mindfully stirred together in this new-wave cookbook, which is, literally, nourishing without costing the Earth.
It contains 100 seasonal go-to recipes to encourage mindful choices about how and what to eat throughout the year.
Originally hailing from New York, Heather Thomas is the founder of The Mindful Kitchen, a sustainable eatery and workshop hub based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Mindful Kitchen was born to spread the process of how to connect to nature with every bite, working with eco-chef Tom Hunt, Havana Club, Sustain, and The Eden Project. Heather has also trained in climate change communications with Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project.
The Mindful Kitchen is available as an e-book, which you can purchase to use on any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Just download the free Kindle app or use the Apple Books app.