The Easy Trick For Perfect Flatbreads

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Flatbreads are a versatile and delicious category of food, encompassing everything from Indian chapati to Middle Eastern malawach to Norwegian lefse. Prized all over the world for their tastiness and especially for their ability to scoop up other foods, flatbreads are commonly enjoyed in a large range of countries, from focaccia in Italy to msemen in Morocco to matzo in Israel (via Taste Atlas). And while all those flatbreads are fairly exotic examples, there are many more common types we're willing to bet you chow down on at least once a week: Think tortillas and pitas, for example.

As tasty and varied as flatbreads are, they aren't often something that home cooks turn to, as some, such as naan, which is typically cooked in a tandoori oven (via Street Food), call for specialized equipment that most of us just don't possess. But it's way easier to make flatbreads at home than you might think, and the one piece of equipment that turns out perfect flatbread is an item that you likely already have on hand.

Cook homemade flatbread over an upside-down wok

Have you ever tried lavash? A traditional Armenian flatbread, its thin, pliable sheets are cooked inside a clay oven called a tonir, then folded around other foods (via Taste Atlas). It's a flatbread that Kate Leahy, Ara Zada, and John Lee, the authors of the 2019 book "Lavash," know well — and it's one they explain can be made at home without a tonir.

As Leahy and Zada described to Epicurious, the authors spent time in Armenia and widely reported to be the birthplace of lavash, which is prepared across Western Asia and the Caucasus (via Taste Atlas), in order to learn how to prepare this remarkable bread. While writing and attempting to develop a recipe for lavash that would be within the reach of home cooks, Leahy remembered seeing a different type of oven called a saj featuring a domed metal top, upon which market cooks were preparing lavash. Seized by inspiration, she set her wok upside-down over her stove, heated it, and used it to prepare an excellent home rendition of lavash.

Leahy recommends using only a carbon steel wok for this approach, as a nonstick one could get damaged by the intense heat. To streamline the process, she keeps premade, pre-portioned lavash dough in her fridge, grabbing it as she needs it. So the next time you're craving hot, fresh flatbread with which to enjoy a great homemade meal, bust out your wok and enjoy perfectly blistered, delicious bread.