Homemade Garlic Pitta-style Flatbreads

Another year and another series of The Great British Bake Off is over. Rahul took the trophy and become the 9th winner of Bake Off. The series came to an odd end with some interesting challenges that perhaps didn’t showcase just how talented the bakers are with 12 signature doughnuts (6 iced and 6 filled), 6 pitta breads baked on an open fire outside with 3 dips and a dessert landscape.

All the showstoppers underwhelmed and to me, didn’t really show off the best of the bakers. The airbrushing made them all like a bit samey and I wasn’t really that wowed by them compared to previous years where they had to make tiered cakes, picnics, petit four displays and piece montees. And the Technical, don’t even… there were many other bakes that I could think of that would test the bakers and show their skills even more.

In the end, I also think that Rahul was the correct winner based on the showstopper but it seemed quite clearly that Kim-Joy was ahead of the other bakers on the first two challenges but the judges believed they were all equal which meant it all came down to the showstopper.

Across the series, Kim-Joy was so consistent except the minor mishap during Danish Week with her pastry, whereas both Ruby and Rahul fluctuated during periods of the series. While Kim-Joy’s showstopper was disappointing, I still believe she was the deserving winner.

While the bakers took on the Technical Challenge outside on a campfire, flatbreads are so simple to make in your kitchens. Flatbreads cook in a matter of minutes either on the stove or in the oven and don’t require any complicated process or ingredients, especially when you keep it as simple and tasty as my Garlic Pitta-style Flatbreads.

I say that these are pitta-style and not pitta breads because they didn’t puff up as wildly as pitta breads should in the oven and this is all to do with the heat of the oven and getting the dough as thin as possible. The heat of the oven as the flatbread hits it causes the surfaces to begin to cook meanwhile steam is generated inside which causes the top and bottom to pull away from each other and expand. But even if this process doesn’t happen as perfectly (like mine), you still end up with 4 really tasty flatbreads.

This recipe also marks the first year that I have baked along with every single week’s theme of Bake Off!! Check out my recipes for each week’s theme:

250g strong white bread flour

5g salt

10g granulated sugar

1 x 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast

30ml extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic, finely grated

About 150ml tepid water

Black sesame seeds

In a large mixing bowl, place the strong white bread flour into the bowl. Place the salt and sugar onto one side of the bowl and place the yeast onto the other side. Use the end of a wooden spoon to mix the yeast into the flour and then the salt and sugar.

Make a well in the centre and add the extra virgin olive oil, the grated garlic and about half of the water. Use the wooden spoon to begin to form a dough, adding water gradually until it just begins forms a soft but not sticky dough. Ideally the dough should like ragged and rough at this stage.

Tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball, adding more water gradually if necessary. Knead the dough for around 10 minutes by hand until you can press a lightly floured finger into the dough and it comes back all the way. It should like smooth and feel soft to the touch. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove at room temperature until doubled in size (my dough took just less than an hour).

When the dough has proved, preheat the oven to 230°C. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

Turn the dough out and knead to knock back all of the air. Divide the dough into 4 equal sized pieces by weighing the dough. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into flatbread shapes, getting it as thin as possible (but still able to fit onto your baking tray) and no more than 5mm thick in the middle. I like to leave the edges slightly thicker but you can have the whole flatbread the same thickness if you want. Sprinkle lightly with some flour and press some black sesame seeds firmly onto each flatbread.

Use a pair of tongs to lift the tray out of the oven and place two of the flatbreads onto the tray, leaving space for expansion. Return the tray to the oven and leave to bake for around 5 minutes until the bread has risen slightly, puffed up in places and turned brown around the edges.

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