Thin Flatbread

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      55 min

Appears in

The Jewelled Kitchen

The Jewelled Kitchen

By Bethany Kehdy

Published 2013

  • About

Nan-e taftoon as this bread is known in Iran, is traditionally baked in hot, deep ovens called tannours. It’s also a great accompaniment to many of the dishes in this book. You can enjoy a simple but satisfying meal by pairing freshly baked flatbreads with a good white cheese and an Undressed Herb Salad.


  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 750 g/1 lb 10 oz/3 cups strong white bread flour, plus extra
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • oil, for greasing


    1. Dissolve the yeast in 55 ml/ fl oz/¼ cup warm water in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, mix the flour and salt on a clean work surface, then create a well in the centre. Add 400 ml/14 fl oz/1⅔ cups warm water to the yeast water and pour it into the well, then gradually work the liquid into the flour, mixing and kneading with your hands, until it forms a soft dough.
    3. Knead the dough for 10–15 minutes until it is very smooth and elastic and comes away from the work surface. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a slightly damp dish towel and leave in a warm, draught- free place for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
    4. When the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl, place on a lightly floured work surface and knock back, kneading until it is soft and elastic. Roll the dough into a log, then divide it into six equal balls and space these out on the work surface. Score the top of each ball with a knife to loosen the surface tension. Cover with a damp, clean dish towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
    5. Once the dough has rested, preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas 9 and place a large baking sheet in the oven to warm up. Working with one piece of dough at a time, knock it back on the floured work surface and then roll it out as thinly as possible into a 33 x 23 x 5mm/13 x 9 x ¼in rectangular shape to fit the baking sheet.
    6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and scatter some flour over it, then quickly but carefully transfer one of the thin sheets of dough to the baking sheet, stretching it just a little more, if needed, to fit the baking sheet (but being careful not to tear it and not to burn your hand on the baking sheet). Gently prick the surface with a fork to minimize large air pockets developing.
    7. Bake for 2–4 minutes until the dough has blistered and is a very light, golden colour. The aim is for the bread to be soft with golden hints. While the first bread is baking, prepare the next one.
    8. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool (you will need at least 2 racks to cope with how fast the breads cook). The bread might be slightly crisp when it first comes out of the oven, but it will soften and become pliable as it cools. Serve warm or cold.
    9. Once cold, wrap in a damp dish towel and refrigerate; alternatively, place in a sealable plastic bag and freeze for 1–2 months. When wanted, sprinkle the chilled or frozen breads with water. Microwave chilled breads for 30 seconds and frozen breads for 2 minutes. Alternatively, you can heat chilled bread in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat for 45 seconds on each side.

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