Although I first tried this recipe as a larger effort to make Gyros (see Gyro Meat), it works well for sandwiches, or instead of dinner rolls, (see Quick Buns for a fast way to make dinner rolls). The dough can also be frozen after the first rise to make it quicker to use when wanted. I am still looking for tips on how to consistently get a balloon-type "puffing" when cooking these, but if I am not filling them that is not important. Usually with one batch I will have enough fillable pieces to make what I need and I use the others as sides for another meal. Note that this recipe assumes the use of a stand mixer.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Waiting: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total: 3 hours
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4t), (add an extra 1t if planning to freeze the dough)
- 1C warm water (around 115°F)
- 2 3/4 C all-purpose flour divided plus more as needed
- 1 1/2T olive oil
- 1 3/4t salt
- Mix the yeast and 1C of flow in the bowl of a stand mixer then whisk in the water. Let stand for 15 minutes. It should form into a loose sponge. If not you may need to try again with different yeast.
- Add the olive oil, salt, and the rest of the flour to the sponge and using the dough hook attachment mix on low speed for three minutes. If the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour and wait 30 seconds. If the dough is still sticking heavily to the sides of the bowl, add another tablespoon of flour. Repeat this until the dough is only briefly sticking at times on the side of the bowl. Then continue mixing for two more minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place into a bowl with a little bit of oil in the bottom, (I just use the stand mixer bowl). Spin the dough around so it is lightly covered in oil. Cover with a cookie sheet and let stand for two hours. (Many recipes I've read say "until it has doubled in size", but I don't know how to judge that. Basically the dough should feel like a very soft pillow when lightly poked and bounce back after you remove your finger.)
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and flatten and shape into a rectangle.
- Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape each into a ball by pulling dough down from the sides using both hands and tuck under with your fingers. When it is in a ball shape you may cup it lightly in one hand and roll it in a circular motion on the floured surface to remove seams. If you are freezing the dough wrap it well in plastic wrap and place in a sealable container such as a zip-top freezer bag.
- Place dough balls on a sheet pan, lightly dust the top with flour, then lightly cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. (If the dough had been frozen before let it come to room temperature first. I will usually put into the refrigerator a day before using then place on the counter for an hour--30 minutes to come to around room temperature and then an additional 30 minutes for the second rise.)
- Flatten the dough balls on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 1/4in thick.
- Heat a lightly oiled cast iron griddle or skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the dough circles on one side about 3 minutes. It should start to puff up some. Flip and cook another two minutes and it should puff up even more. Then flip again and cook another 30 seconds. You may continue flipping and cooking until the color you want is reached. The goal for me is to have something with a few golden spots on it and puffing up like a balloon instead of only puffing up in a few spots.