Sourdough Onion Flatbread


Traditionally, flatbreads were made in Dutch ovens using a sourdough starter that the camp cook had used for years. It’s the starter that leavens the bread and gives it a unique flavor. This recipe uses a fermented starter, which will give the loaf some of the same sourdough characteristics. The addition of the onion in the fermentation gives the bread a sweet, tangy flavor. Try variations of this flatbread by adding herbs, Parmesan cheese or sun-dried tomatoes. 

Courtesy of Lou Lambert • Photography by Elif Selvili 

Fairly difficult

Sourdough Onion Flatbread


For 1 Batch(es)

For the dough starter

  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) finely minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) dry active yeast
  • 1 cup(s) water

For the flatbread

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon(s) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup(s) green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 batch(es) prepared dough starter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup(s) water

Sourdough Onion Flatbread Directions

  1. Prepare the starter well before you plan to make the bread—at least 8 hours ahead or overnight. Combine the flour, onion, sugar and yeast in a small mixing bowl at least 3 times the size of the ingredients to allow for expansion.
  2. Stir in the water—mixing until a wet dough is formed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. The starter should be bubbly and fragrant after the wait.
  3. After 8 hours or overnight:
  4. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl and mix. Add the yeast, garlic and green onions and continue to mix.
  5. Add the prepared dough starter, olive oil and water and continue to mix on medium speed for another 5 minutes. If the dough is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water until a soft dough comes together.
  6. Transfer the dough to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead for 2 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a tight ball and place in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Once doubled, transfer the dough to a large baking sheet that has been lightly greased with olive oil—keeping the dough in its uniform, ballooned shape. Flatten the dough with the palms of your hands until it’s about a 1-inch thick oval.Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and allow it to rise for a second time—approximately 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  8. Sprinkle flour on the top and bottom of the dough and place it in the Dutch oven.Stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the Dutch oven, coat with olive oil and punch holes with your fingers.
  9. Place the Dutch oven over a medium-high heat, attach the lid and add one layer of hot coals to the lid. Cook the bread for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the oven from the coals, remove the lid and let the bread cool in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe notes

Be sure to keep some extra bread flour nearby for kneading.

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