Last updated on 06-Sep-2023
We love a good flatbread! Many cultures and cuisines have some kind of flatbread – such as Mediterranean pita, South Asian naan or roti, Italian focaccia, Latin-American tortilla, Ethiopian injera, and many more. The base of most flatbread recipes calls for flour (wheat, corn, teff, etc.), salt, water, and either a leavening agent to help the bread rise or unleavened options, such as lavash or matzah). Some recipes may also include fats/oils or milk/yogurt in the dough. The variations and recipes are endless!
Now, something you may notice about us: one of our favourite cuisines is Indian. We haven’t been to India (or anywhere else in Asia yet), but there’s a large Desi (South Asian) community in the Toronto area, and after living there for over 20 years, we were totally spoiled for choice with the food options! We really enjoy the creamy curries, the spices, the snacks and desserts, and the variety of choices available for vegetarians or pescetarians like us. And no South Asian meal is complete without some naan or roti, or another type of bread to round it up.
So, to go along with the growing collection of Indian-inspired favourite recipes we make at home, we wanted to find an easy flatbread that was up to par. And after we came across this recipe, we were sold! It’s super easy, very quick to make, and tastes delicious. It calls for simple ingredients, doesn’t require yeast, and it’s the perfect pair to our delicious curry or korma recipes – but also great with dips, makes great sandwiches, and it could even be used as a base for a quick pizza!
The surprise ingredient here is beer. It may sound strange, but trust me on this one. It helps keep the flatbread fluffy and also adds a “yeasty” flavour without the yeast. Make sure to use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour and beer, and everything else will work out.
Ready to try this “shortcut” naan? 😉
Beer Flatbread (no yeast, quick naan)
- Kitchen scale
- Rolling Pin
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 130 g beer any type, cold or room temperature
- olive oil ghee or butter, to brush cooked flatbreads
- 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- parsley or cilantro fresh, chopped finely (optional)
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the salt, baking powder, and garlic powder (if using). Add the beer, mix until combined.
- Turn dough onto the counter and knead lightly for 1-2 mins, until it's no longer sticking to your hands. Sprinkle with a bit more flour if too sticky. Cover loosely and let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high while you prep the first flatbread.
- Divide dough into 4 portions. Use the rolling pin to stretch the first portion on a lightly floured surface.
- Transfer to the hot skillet to cook. The dough should start bubbling on the top right away. Once it looks cooked and a bit blistered on the underside, flip and cook the other side.
- Remove flatbread from skillet. Brush one side with ghee or butter (or olive oil for vegan/dairy-free). Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (if using) for a pop of colour and added flavour.
- Repeat the process with the remaining portions of dough. Serve and enjoy!
- Great option to serve with creamy Indian dishes, such as our delicious curry or korma recipes - but also great with dips, to make sandwiches or mini pizzas.
- To minimize the dirty dishes, I like to put my bowl on the scale, weigh the flour first, add the salt, baking powder, and garlic powder (if using), mix, then "zero" the scale and add the beer while weighing in the same bowl.
- The dough cooks really fast and the skillet has to be hot, or it will dry and become brittle instead of flexible. If you work quickly with the rolling pin, you can stretch the next portion while one flatbread cooks. Or get a helper in the kitchen to watch the flatbreads in the skillet, turn them, take them off the heat and brush them while the next portion is rolled out.
- If you prefer to use fresh garlic in the flatbread, infuse about 3 tbsp of olive oil, ghee or butter with the 2 cloves garlic (minced) by warming them together in low heat until the garlic starts to soften, and then use the mixture to brush each the cooked flatbread while still hot.