On the weekends I try to devote myself to as much time in the kitchen as I can, and to focus on attempting something I haven't tried before.  This past weekend, for reasons I'm not clear on myself, I was interested in flatbread.  I wanted to share a number of observations I made:

  1. As with all bread, and despite the fact that they don't rise to the same heights, flatbreads need time.
  2. You can help the yeast, and the flavour, by adding some sugar to the dough when you mix it.
  3. Adding some fat (butter, ghee, oil) is often a good idea.  Fat in bread makes it lighter and softer.  That white bread you ate as a kid that isn't good for you?  It has fat in it.  Bread isn't soft on its own.
  4. When stretching dough, the most important tip is to let it rest.  If you're pulling it, and it simply snaps back, it's not ready.  Invert a bowl over it and let it rest for 7-15 minutes before trying again.
  5. Cut, never tear dough.  Use scissors, a sharp knife, or, if you have it, a bench scraper.
  6. You want it thinner than you think is wise (it will rise in the heat), but not too thin or it will burn.
  7. Flatbreads are somewhat hard for children to work with, since they require a margin of error much narrower than normal loaves.
  8. If you don't have a Tandoori (who doesn't?), you can use your broiler on high heat in a pinch.