Flatbread | Recipes from Ancient History

Week 18 of Dave Raymond’s Antiquity course covers “The One and the Many: The Peloponnesian War and Philosophers” We often think about who these men and women were, but we don’t always remember what they ate, like Flatbread.

Whether on the battlefield or in the cities, one of the Greek citizen’s staple foods in their diet was bread. They ate it in several forms; some with barley flour or stone ground flour, some shaped like a loaf while others were flat. Bread was eaten at many of their meals, sometimes paired with meat or dipped in oil. It was easy to pack for journeys and some versions, like flatbread, required few ingredients and baking time.

Pan-Grilled Flatbread


Makes 8 Flatbread

  • 2 1/2 c. All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. Whole-wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. Rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 c. Water, warm 
  • 1/4 c. Whole-milk yogurt, room temp.
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  1. In small bowl combine 1/2 c. warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy. In large mixing bowl combine both flours and salt. Pour in oil, yogurt, remaining water, and yeast mixture and stir until combined. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Lightly oil large glass or plastic bowl and place dough in it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  2. After rising, place dough on lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape into balls and with cupped hands roll on counter and pull down on sides until ball is smooth and taught. Cover balls with clean dishcloth and let sit ten minutes.
  3. Pre-heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Roll 1 ball into 9-inch circle on lightly floured surface and poke everywhere 15-25 times with a fork. Wipe oil out of pan, leaving a thin sheen over bottom and sides. Sprinkle water over the top of the flatbread and place water-side down on pan. Brush other side with water and cover skillet. Cook until puffed and bottom side is brown, 2-3 minutes, then flip flatbread and cover skillet again. When flatbread is finished wrap in aluminum foil or kitchen towel and place in warm oven. Repeat with remaining balls.
  4. When finished you can brush flatbreads with melted butter, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy!

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