Sandwiches are near the top of my list of favorite things to eat. I could eat one at every meal and never get tired of them because the possibilities are endless. There are so many different kinds of breads, meats, cheeses, spreads, toppings etc., you never have to eat the same sandwich twice! I love a sandwich built with some freshly baked bread as the base, but sometimes all I want is a thin, soft sheet of flatbread to roll up my sandwich within, that is where this wrap bread comes in.
Over the years I've used a lot of flour tortillas to make wraps for lunch, and although they are okay, they have never been exactly what I wanted. They are usually kind of dry and stale and just don't have that much flavor. I tried making my own once, but the recipe I used just didn't impress me. When I found this recipe though, I was hopeful that it was what I was looking for. Boy was it ever. These wrap breads are the most delicious thing since, well, sliced bread! They are soft, tender and absolutely delicious. I have yet to be disappointed when these wonderful wraps are the base for my sandwich.
The recipe for this soft wrap bread is a little odd, it starts with pouring boiling water over top of flour and letting it sit for about 30 minutes. King Arthur Flour says that this process basically "cooks" the starch in the flour, making the flatbread easy to roll out, and removes any "starchy" taste in the finished bread. Whatever it is doing chemically, I like it. The bread is wonderful to roll out and the flavor in the finished product is super yummy.
After this initial starch cooking, the dough is put together like most breads I've made. However, the dough you are left with after the kneading is finished is very odd. The texture is very different from most doughs. It may not seem quite right, I was kind of doubtful the first time I made it, but have no fear, it will all work out in the end. After letting the dough sit for an hour (it didn't really rise much for me), all that is left is to cut it up, roll it out, and dry fry it in a skillet. The recipe tells you to roll out each piece of dough into a 7-8 inch circle, but I decided I wanted mine a little bigger and thinner (more like a tortilla) and didn't seem to have any problem with the finished product.
Frying up each piece of dough can take a little bit of time, but trust me, it is so worth it. This wrap bread is on its way to becoming a staple in my house. I don't think I'll ever buy a tortilla again!
Shaped dough, read to fry
Make sure you have lots of flour
Perfect, ready to cook
Into the fairly hot pan
When it starts to brown, flip it over
Stack them up as you go
(I made a double batch this time)
Fill them up and dinner is served!
Soft Wrap Bread
Adapted From King Arthur Flour
- 3 1/4-3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast*
*This recipe works best with instant yeast because it dissolves during the kneading process, so you don't have to knead liquid into the dough. If you really prefer to use active dry yeast, use only 1 cup boiling water for the initial dough, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, and add this mixture to the dough along with the remaining flour mixture. It'll be somewhat "slippery" at first, but will knead in and eventually become smooth.
Making the Dough: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Shaping: Divide the dough into 8 or 10 pieces, cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat for about 1 minute per side, until they're puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out. Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool slightly before storing in a plastic bag. Yield: 8 breads.