Kefir flatbread with spelt flour without yeast or butter: easy, tasty and cheap
Time: prep. 10 mins
cook. 10 mins
Yields: 8 flatbreads
I’ll be blunt: I’m not a fan of fast-rising breads, because although the result is very good and practical, it lacks the benefits created by long fermentation using sourdough starter.
A healthy and conscious diet is characterised by the consumption of large quantities of vegetables, cereals and pulses; which, among other things (mainly positive), bring with them a small defect: the presence of phytic acid and oxalic acid etc.
These substances are able to form insoluble salts with the iron or calcium present in our food, reducing their bioavailability or in other words, absorption. But don’t worry, this little snag can be overcome with a few simple tricks: some vegetables are best eaten cooked; most cereals and legumes are best soaked; flours should be fermented for a long time (you can read about why I said this on this link).
This kefir flatbread with spelt flour should therefore contain more phytates due to the lack of fermentation, but the choice to use kefir is no coincidence, in fact thanks to its high acidity, it prevents the phytates – in part – from being a serious problem.
The CHEtarian diet prefers to include foods that ensure three key points: affordability, health and ethics; however, sometimes perfection is just an understatement and we should make well-considered compromises. So if we were at a crossroads, caused by the absence of bread “because we were late getting home and the bakery closed or simply sold all the bread”, we would have the following options available to us:
1) Eat the brioche!
– No way, that was a joke (although a certain famous queen in history actually thought and said it!);
2) Buy anything else left in the bakery or supermarket, including packaged flatbreads or sliced bread/pullman loaf.
– I’m not saying it’s better to be starving, but almost…
3) Prepare kefir flatbread with spelt flour very quickly
– As long as it doesn’t become a habit, it’s perfectly fine.
If you can’t stand to be without bread for one night (I’d understand, I’m addicted too), I’d like you to at least choose option number 3.
The first option is a joke. The second option is more unthinkable for me than the first one, given the negative aspects enclosed inside those plastic bags: breads or similar often prepared with refined flours, very salty, some even with unmentionable and indigestible fats; rarely without the presence of that unbearable smell of ethyl alcohol used as a preservative; last but not least, the taste of plastic, at an unjustifiably high cost both for us and for the planet.
Faced with all this, preparing kefir flatbreads with spelt flour becomes the only possible solution.
This recipe can also be very useful in another respect: that of reducing waste.
Homemade kefir producers know what I am referring to. Kefir grains, like all living organisms, have a single purpose in life: to safeguard their species, eating and proliferating without respite. When we are making kefir, we are actually feeding the colony by stimulating their survival instincts(1). You can also ‘put them to sleep’ by leaving the kefir grains in water to drink in the fridge, rather than in milk; but every now and then you have to give them proper sustenance. As a matter of fact, since my dear friend Imma gave me a beautiful and numerous kefir community, I try to satisfy them as often as possible: I produce once a week about 800 ml of milk kefir.
As well as being very pleasing to the taste buds, given my origins (it has to be said that, like yoghurt, also ‘kefir’ derives from a Turkish word: ‘keyif‘ or pleasure), kefir is truly a treasure trove of nutrients: rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium; in vitamins such as folic acid (B9) and vitamin K; and in probiotics, which are useful for strengthening the immune system: its matrix being made up of different species of lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria with yeasts (2). However, even if it is good and healthy, due to the need to keep it in production, it is not always possible to consume it with the same passion as on the first day… considering that I also produce my own yoghurt once every 10 days.
This is why knowing how to use this surplus of food becomes a moral necessity!
Together with the kefir grains, dear Imma gave me a recipe for flatbreads: which turns out to be a great help to fill the absence of the other food, bread. I modified the original recipe a bit, changing the mix of flours, choosing those less rich in gluten but richer in fiber and replacing the baking powder with a mix of bicarbonate and vinegar. The result was remarkable, to say the least.
What if you don’t have any spelt flour or kefir in your pantry besides bread? It can happen, don’t be alarmed: any flour will be good to replace spelt, maybe better if it’s wholemeal; and Greek or normal yoghurt can take the place of kefir, as long as it’s plain.
Ingredients for 8 kefir flatbreads with spelt flour
170 g wholemeal spelt flour (better if organic and stone-ground)
80 g of wheat bread flour ( \\ \\ \\)
160 g of kefir
1 tablespoon of evo oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate+1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (or 5 g of baking powder)
to brush on top of the flatbread (optional)
1 tablespoon evo oil
1 tablespoon chopped dill or parsley
1 tsp of black cumin seeds
Mix the ingredients together, adding the baking soda and vinegar mix at the end. If you have to make these kefir flatbreads using refined flours, add only 150 grams of kefir, because whole-wheat flours absorb more liquid.
Knead vigorously, then divide the dough into 8 parts and create balls of equal size (about 53 grams).
Then on a pastry board or a clean surface, roll out the balls one by one, giving them a diameter of about 20 cm: help yourself with the rolling pin or if you are skilled use your hands, using little flour to be able to work them easily; when you are about to finish the flattening of the first ball turn on the cooker on high flame.
When the pan is hot, start cooking the first flatbread: 2-3 minutes per side are enough to cook the kefir flatbread with spelt flour without burning it too much; if you are in a hurry, use 2 pans at the same time, so as to halve the time.
When the last flatbread is cooked, add the chopped herbs and/or black cumin seeds to a small bowl with the olive oil and brush them with a kitchen brush.
These flatbreads are delicious when hot, but if you keep them in an airtight container, they will remain more than satisfactory even without heating, for another 2 days.
If you have opted for these kefir flatbreads as a practical solution to your lack of time, here are two ideas that can be made very quickly:
– cheap and very tasty rich legume salad and
On these occasions I never miss the “trinity” at the feast: that is guacamole, hummus and tzatziki (with a homemade thick yoghurt believe me it tastes completely different); of course I always warn my guests to be careful not to bite their fingers too.
Enjoy your meal and good revolution to all
1) Guzel-Seydim, Z., Wyffels, J. T., Seydim, A. C., & Greene, A. K. (2005). Turkish kefir and kefir grains: Microbial enumeration and electron microscobic observation. International Journal of Dairy Technology, 58, 25–29.10.1111/idt.2005.58.issue-1
2) Macuamule, C. L. S., Wiid, I. J., Helden, P. D. V., Tanner, M., & Witthuhn, R. C. (2015). Effect of milk fermentation by kefir grains and selected single strains of lactic acid bacteria on the survival of Mycobacterium bovis BCG. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 217, 170–176.