I was recently taking stock of the packaged basics in my pantry with an eye toward reduction when I noticed that flatbreads were trending out of control. There were whole wheat pita breads from Whole Foods for hummus dipping, Trader Joe’s garlic naan for soaking up curries, Joseph’s lavash for 10-minute pizzas, and 10-inch Mission flour tortillas for lunchtime wraps.

The weekly flatbread budget in my house was running about $15, and the plastic bags were piling up.

While I was patting myself on the back for the cultural diversity of my bread drawer, I was shaking my head at the redundancy, potential food waste and definite landfill trappings.

I could do better. I could make my own flatbread, as cooks across the globe have done for eons before these breads were ever packaged in plastic and sold at a store near me.

The trick would be finding a recipe versatile enough to be shaped into all the forms I need, in the time I have at hand. In my own flatbread-making history, I typically turned to Mark Bittman’s grilled flatbreads from a 2010 Minimalist column in The New York Times. It’s a great recipe, but it requires yeast, a 90-minute rise time and a piping hot grill.

The answer to my everyday flatbread quest came via an Internet phenomenon dubbed “Two Ingredient Pizza Dough” from a blogger called The Impatient Foodie. The two ingredients are Greek yogurt and self-rising flour. The dough requires an eight-minute knead, and can be cooked in a skillet, on a sheet pan, using a pizza stone or in a grill pan. The salt in the self-rising flour flavors the bread, and the baking powder also included interacts with the cultures of the yogurt to make a soft, springy crumb.

When the ingredients are tossed together in equal measure (1 1/2 cups of each yields four 6-inch round flatbreads) in a bowl it appears as if you might be on your way to a crumbly dough, but when you dump it onto the counter to knead, the yogurt completely hydrates the flour, sometimes requiring a further dusting to keep from sticking to the surface. From there you roll it, pat it and shape it into the form you need and cook it accordingly.

To make them plain for breakfast, I simply roll them to a 1/4-inch thickness and cook them in a very lightly oiled cast iron pan for 3 minutes per side. I often make a double batch to have some in reserve as, once cooled, they freeze and reheat well. When I use these flatbreads for either breakfast pizza (see recipe) or more traditionally topped ones for dinner, I roll them to 1/8-inch thickness and bake them naked for five minutes in a hot oven before adding their toppings, because I like a crisp crust.

If you don’t have self-rising flour in the cupboard simply combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl before adding the yogurt. If you’ve only got regular yogurt on hand, use a 1 1/2 to 1 ratio of flour to yogurt. If you want to put whole wheat flour into the mix, you will need to increase the amount of yogurt slightly (how much will vary) to get the same consistency, as whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid.

In the end, nothing beats warm homemade flatbread, especially if no unnecessary plastic was used in getting it to your plate.


Pizza is just one way to use this versatile two-ingredient flatbread recipe. The cut-outs do double duty: First, the nesting hole keeps the eggs from running all over the pizzas. Next, because the whites hit the hot pan, they get fully cooked while the yolks stay runny. I bake the cutouts alongside the pizza and dip them into the yolks.

Makes 4 personal pizzas

4 slices raw bacon, chopped

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

4 cups chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard)

1/2 cup grated Italian cheese (mix of mozzarella, Parmesan and fontina is best)

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt

Oil to prepare pans

4 eggs

Red chili pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat and cook until crisp on both sides. Remove bacon from pan to drain on a paper towel.

Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Return pan to medium heat, stir in onions. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and cheese.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and yogurt into a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until smooth, about 8 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and use a rolling pin to roll out each one in a circle with a 1/8-inch thickness.

Coat 2 baking sheets very lightly with oil. Place 2 rounds of dough on each sheet. Use a small (2 inches), round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out a hole in the center of each piece of dough. Place the small circles of dough elsewhere on the sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove par-baked dough from the oven. Crack 1 egg into each of the cut-out holes, spread 1/4 of the spinach mixture around each flatbread. Sprinkle red chili pepper flakes over each pizza. Bake until the egg whites are opaque and firmly set, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Christine Burns Rudalevige is a food writer, recipe developer and tester, and cooking teacher in Brunswick. She writes about feeding her family Maine seafood at familyfish.net. Contact her at [email protected]

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