4 cups wholemeal or white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
Big pinch of sea salt
1 cup (280g) sourdough starter (or use 10g fresh yeast or 5g dried yeast)
1 cup (240g/ml) water, ideally warmed in a pan to 30–40°C, plus extra for perfecting the dough
Light your fire and while it’s burning make the dough.
First, mix all the ingredients together in your mixing bowl. Work the dough for 15 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic, only adding extra flour or water if you’re sure it’s needed. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Cover the bowl of dough with a shower cap and leave it to rest and rise for 30–60 minutes, somewhere warm, like near your fire.
While it rises prepare a good bed of hot embers. The larger the embers the less ash dust you’ll have on the flatbreads.
Cut off a small plum-sized bit of dough, roll it in lightly floured hands and then pat it between your hands to flatten it. Slowly and carefully tease the dough out as round and flat as you can make it without tearing. Squeeze and pinch any larger, thicker bits of dough and pinch closed any holes that appear. And if the dough sticks too much, dust it with a little flour. A tea towel is useful for keeping hands clean and free of too much dough. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Carefully place the raw breads directly on to the embers and watch them bake. They might puff up a bit with some good air bubbles – that’s the moisture in the dough turning to steam and being trapped in the stretchy dough you’ve made. Lovely.
Keep an eye on them – a bit of char is good but make sure they don’t burn too much. Once they are golden underneath – after about 3–5 minutes – use your tongs or two sticks to flip them over and bake on the other side.
Remove the baked flatbreads from the embers and use a penknife or a stick to flick off any baked-in embers. Keep your flatbreads warm in a tea towel or on a log above the fire. I tend to bake these two at a time. That way, not so many embers are needed and it’s easier to keep an eye on them.
These are perfect eaten warm and will make an ideal side for stews and dips, soaking up beer, you name it. They definitely make eating outside that bit tastier.
You can make the dough at home using cold water to slow the rising down. Take it with you in a sealed plastic container big enough to allow the dough to at least double in size.
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