This is the easiest and most versatile dough we work with at Zapata. We usually keep a batch of this dough in the fridge just in case we end up needing some fresh bread. The recipe that follows turns the dough into a salty flatbread great for dipping, sopping up a runny egg yolk, or topping with some grilled meat or vegetables. However, this dough can be shaped into a loaf for fresh bread, rolled out thin for a pizza crust, or covered with olive oil for a quick focaccia.
1 envelope (2.5 tsp, 10 g) active dry yeast
½ cup (100 g) 105-degree water
2 ¾ cups (420 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (145 g) whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups (450 g) warm water
2 tsp (12 g) kosher salt
Flaky sea salt
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Add 450 grams of warm water to the bowl and mix the ingredients together with your hands (wet your hands before mixing to minimize sticking). Mix until a very shaggy dough begins to form, try to mix well enough so that no pockets of dry flour remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour (it’s okay to let it sit longer if you have the time).
In a small bowl whisk together the yeast and 100 grams of 105-degree water (the water should feel warm, not hot). Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until the yeast begins to bubble and bloom.
Pour the yeast mixture on top of the dough, add the kosher salt and use your fingers to massage the yeast and salt into the dough. Continue mixing until there are no dry patches. If necessary, add more water to the bowl. The dough should be wet. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel. At this point you can leave the dough out at room temperature for about 2 hours or put the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Shape the dough into 10-12 equal size balls. Dust each ball with flour. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll each ball into a circle about ¼ in (6 mm) thick. If the dough is too wet to work with add more flour to your work surface. Heat a large, preferably cast iron, pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with a very liberal amount of oil. Allow the oil to heat up for about 20 seconds. Take a small pinch of flaky sea salt and sprinkle it into the pan and immediately add one piece of your bread to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute and then turn over with tongs. The bread should puff slightly. Cook until brown spots form on both sides of the bread. Repeat with remaining bread, adding more oil and salt as necessary.
Drizzle olive oil over the bread and serve warm.
The dough can be made with only all-purpose flour if that is all you have available. You can also substitute kosher salt for the flaky sea salt. For a less salty flatbread skip sprinkling the pan with salt. Any neutral oil is fine to use, we typically use sunflower oil but vegetable, canola, peanut or any neutral oil would be fine. Combining the flour and water before adding the yeast allows the flour to hydrate, starting gluten development and reducing, or in this case eliminating, the amount of kneading.