Grain-Free Flatbread

paleo_flatbreadpizza

This recipe has become one of our staples, so I thought it was time to share here. I came across it during my neverending quest for easy grain-free pizza crusts for Nolan. Since it has only two main ingredients, virtually no clean-up, and can be ready to put on the table in 20 minutes, this flatbread definitely fits the bill.

Nolan likes this flatbread as his main course topped with cheese (and allows the occasional addition of finely chopped meat or vegetables if sufficiently blanketed with cheese), but it is also delicious plain as a side with dinner, used in place of bread for sandwiches or wraps, or just slathered with hummus or almond butter (or fig compound butter!). For me, it fills the gap left by pita bread and wheat tortillas, where crepes and corn tortillas just can’t suffice.

tuna_wraps

The greens on this wrap represent my very first harvest from the vegetable garden—tatsoi, mizuna, and Freckles lettuce!

Grain-free Flatbreads

Preheat oven to 400F, and heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place equal parts almond flour, tapioca starch, and filtered water with a pinch of salt in a mason jar or blender bottle; cover and shake thoroughly, until it forms a thin, uniform batter. I typically use 3/4C each, which makes about six 4-6″ rounds.

Pour about 1/4 C of batter at a time onto the hot skillet and allow to cook until it bubbles and becomes opaque on top (there should be some brown spots underneath); flip and cook the other side also, then transfer to a baking sheet. Once all of your batter has been cooked off, put in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on how firm you want the bread—in my oven, 8 minutes makes an approximation of pita bread or naan texture for wraps and sandwiches, 10-12 minutes makes something a bit more leathery like pizza crust or a tortilla, and 15 minutes makes matzo-like crackers.

These are delicious plain, but can also be seasoned with dried herbs, garlic or onion powder, or even sweet spices like cinnamon. You could also make them “multigrain” by adding hemp hearts, sesame seeds or the like. If using these for pizza, bake for 8-10 minutes, add toppings, and broil until melty (or bake for an additional 5 minutes).

Source: Slightly adapted from Health Starts in the Kitchen.

Update 8/30/14: Lots of possible variations developing for these little flatbreads.

#1:  Substitute whole almonds for almond flour and make the batter in your blender. I keep pre-soaked and dehydrated almonds on hand, but you could also just start the batter the night before by combining the almonds, water and a pinch of salt in your blender carafe and letting it soak; add the tapioca starch when you are ready to blend. Another option is to sub 1/3 raw cashew pieces for almonds or almond flour.

#2: Add flavorings to the flatbreads. This could be as simple as garlic powder or other spices, fresh chopped herbs, or even powdered vegetables. I added a touch of homemade greens powder to one batch and they ended up a bit like spinach tortillas; the color stopped being problematic for Nolan when I refried leftover breads in bacon grease and they turned more golden brown (and crispy and fantastic; try subbing fried flatbreads, cut in wedges, for pita chips).

#3: Try other nuts or seeds. I made a batch of these successfully using sesame seeds ground into a flour; they were full of the savory, toasty flavor of sesame, and would serve as an excellent substitute for pita in Mediterranean dishes. The blender method mention above would come into play nicely here as well. Other choices: I hope to experiment with sunflower and pumpkinseeds, as well as cashews and macadamia nuts.

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