This easy gram flour flatbread recipe has only 2 ingredients. It takes just a few minutes to cook and can be eaten sweet or savoury with any meal of the day.
It takes just a few minutes to make and can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can eat it in place of bread or wraps, as a side dish to your main, or like a chapati or flour tortilla.
Flatbreads can be made with many types of flours but in this post we’ll look at flatbread made from gram flour, which is actually chickpea flour, also known as Besan or garbanzo flour.
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Why Use This Gram Flour Flatbread Recipe vs Other Flatbreads
This is one of my favourite flatbread recipes – not because it’s the most perfect flatbread out there but because it’s so easy and convenient and can be cooked instantly from a batter, just like a pancake.
That means no kneading, no rolling, no hassle.
To be honest, I don’t often feel like making a dough and rolling it out. I’m lazy about that.
And with this easy gram flour flatbread recipe, I just make the batter and pour it into the hot pan.
With these gram flour flatbreads I you don’t need to prepare in advance which is why this is such a useful recipe, but to be honest, if I have time on my hands, then I make my favourite red lentil flatbreads.
Apart from flavour, the main difference is that you need to grind the lentils first for lentil flatbreads, so they aren’t quite so instant as this gram flour flatbread recipe is.
What is Flatbread?
Flatbread is a generic word used to describe any bread which is flat.
Often it refers to unleavened bread whose main ingredients are flour, water (or another liquid, like milk) and salt.
Some flatbread recipes require yeast and a prepared dough which is kneaded and rolled out (like a pizza base for example) but the majority are more simple affairs.
Flatbread can be cooked in the oven, in hot oil in a pan or on a dry heat.
There are so many variations. They can be vegan – or not; gluten free – or not; oil free – or not.
We are interested in gluten free vegan flatbread which you can make with a wiping of an oily paper over the pan (or zero oil if you prefer).
Origins of Flatbread
Flatbread is one of the first examples in history of people making a processed food and evidence demonstrates that flatbreads were being made as long ago as the Mesopotamia civilisation, in ancient Egypt civilisations and by the Indus.
Flatbread has continued to be a staple part of the diet in many parts of the world and today there are (apparently) over 60 different types of flatbread with 150 recipes for accompanying foods like mezze, kebabs, curries and more.
Examples of Some Common Types of Flatbread
There are so many different variations on the simple flatbread, but some of the best well known varieties are:
- Flour tortilla
- Naan bread
- Pizza base
Is This Gram Flour Flatbread Recipe Healthier than Bread?
As with most things, it depends.
If you buy commercial bread, it isn’t a whole food and it won’t be the healthiest choice you could make.
Commercial breads tend to have sugar, salt , preservatives, emulsifiers and other unhealthy ingredients added.
If you’re following a whole foods plant based diet, you may choose to eliminate shop bought bread from your shopping list.
Now, if you make your own bread, you’re in control of what goes into it. So your homemade loaf can be a wholesome whole food too. You can make bread from black rice and gram flour for example.
And if you make your own flatbread using just gram flour and water, the flatbread will be a complete whole food and 100% healthy as there are no added nasty ingredients. The chickpea flour is both high in fibre and rich in protein.
Is this Gram Flour Flatbread Recipe Gluten Free?
This gram flour flatbread is gluten free because it uses gram flour as the primary ingredient. Shop bought flatbreads aren’t gluten free unless specified as being gluten free.
Another gluten free flatbread recipe to have up your sleeve is lentil flatbread.
Making this Easy Gram Flour Flatbread
By far the easiest way to make this instant gram flour flatbread is to take a piece of kitchen paper, dab it over the top of an oil bottle and then wipe that around your pan. This will make the flatbread cook easier and not stick to the bottom of the pan.
But if you’re eating a whole foods plant based diet and you really don’t want to include any oil at all, that can also be done. But it doesn’t cook quite so simply as it does with a wipe over with an oily paper.
I’ve seen videos online where the flatbread cooks perfectly with no oil, making it look so simple. But it will depend a lot on your pan, so give it a go and see how you get on.
The problem is, with an average frying pan, when you don’t use any oil, you might find the flatbread sticking to the bottom of the pan.
I prefer to use a piece of kitchen paper to wipe a tiny bit of oil onto the pan. It will do several breads like that so it’s almost oil free.
If you prefer to use zero oil, make sure the pan is non stick (or cast iron) and that it’s very hot before pouring in the batter.
What Can Go Wrong When Making Gram Flour Flatbread?
It always looks so easy when you see a video of somebody making flatbread on Youtube but the truth is, it might not look like that when you first try it out.
What can go wrong?
Well the most common thing that can go topsy-turvy is that when you go to turn your flatbread over, you find it’s just a big mush and doesn’t flip. So you scrape at it a bit more and end up with lumps of flatbread instead of that perfect, beautiful, thin flatbread.
If this happens, don’t worry, it still tastes good and the next one will be better!
Normally it’s because you didn’t wait long enough before trying to flip. When the flatbread is cooked, it will flip. Other mistakes are not letting the pan heat up enough before pouring in the batter or not having the heat at the right level.
- Make sure that the pan is really hot before you pour in the batter.
- If the flatbread won’t come away from the pan to be flipped, it isn’t ready yet. Leave it to cook for longer, adjusting the heat if you think it will burn. I cool my flatbreads on a 7.5 on my induction hob.
- It can take up to 6 minutes total for one gram flour flatbread. 3 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second.
Flavouring Your Gram Flour Flatbread
You can make this gram flour flatbread just plain so that you can serve it as a sweet flatbread for example.
Maple syrup and fruit in a plain gram flour flatbread go really well.
Otherwise, if I’m eating them savoury, I like to add spices to them. That’s what really makes them yummy.
I add a little cumin (aprox. 1 tsp per 6 servings batch), a little turmeric (aprox. 1/2 tsp per batch), 1/4 tsp chilli and some black mustard seeds.
Instead of spices, you may want to add some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour or some chopped fresh herbs, (parsley or cilantro).
Easy Gram Flour Flatbreads (WFPB)Course: SideCuisine: Gluten free veganDifficulty: Easy
1 measuring cup of gram flour
2 measuring cups of water
Pinch of salt to taste
- Optional Flavourings 1
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
Either or both of the above plus black mustard seeds
Any of the above plus chopped cilantro
Pinch of chilli powder
- Optional Flavourings 2
- Sweet Toppings for plain gram flour flatbread
Chopped fruit of choice (banana, kaki, strawberries . . . )
- Put the gram flour into a bowl.
- Pour in about half the water and mix well to get rid of any lumps.
- Gradually add the rest of the water until you have a smooth liquid the consistency of pancake batter.
- Leave the batter to stand for a few minutes if possible.
- Heat up a non stick frying pan over a medium high heat for 2 minutes or until really hot and wipe with an oiled piece of kitchen paper (unless you want zero oil).
- Pour in one third of the batter mixture and swirl the pan around so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan.
- Leave to cook for 3 minutes on the first side. It will flip easily when it’s ready. If it doesn’t flip, it isn’t cooked yet. 3 minutes is normally perfect. Try with a spatula and when it comes away from the pan easily, you know it’s ready.
- Flip the flatbread over and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and yummy.
- Eat the flatbreads immediately or reheat in the microwave. Best eaten fresh.
How to Eat Gram Flour Flatbread
This stuff is groovy. I mean you can eat it rolled and stuffed with avocado and salad, sure, but you can also eat it when it doesn’t come out perfect and looks a mess. Top it with cilantro sauce, vegan pesto, avocado or anything you like.
Really there is no limit to how you serve your gram flour flatbread. I even eat it just as it is, alone as a snack.