Wholesome whole wheat potato flatbread is so easy to make you’ll stop searching for it at the market and head straight to the cupboard for the ultimate whole food, plant-based wrap.
After publishing my Indian mashed potato cakes, I honestly thought I was done asking the question: what shall I do with these leftover potatoes?
I was wrong.
I discovered that if you make a simple dough of roughly equal parts of mashed potato and whole wheat flour (or whatever flour you like) and you add a pinch of salt, shazam, you have flatbread. You can roll them, bake them, or pan-fry them (my preferred method).
They fold, they roll, and you can even cut them and crisp them for the perfect dippers.
When I started my whole food, plant-based journey, I was excited by the thought of eating bready things like flatbread and wraps and not feeling guilty about it. But, I kept asking myself, was that actually possible?
Can you eat bread products on a whole-food, plant-based (wfpb) diet?
The simple answer is ‘yes’, but it comes with a few strings attached. Just like with everything we eat, we need to be aware of and try faithfully to apply, the rules of the road. The whole-food, plant-based road rules are pretty simple – no animal products or oil and a diet rich in a variety of whole foods.
Great, so what about that third bit – whole food? Sure it’s easy when it’s that mashed potato going into my wrap, it’s a whole food, but what about the flour?
When is flour whole?
The more I travel the whole food road, the more I rely on DIY (do it yourself). I can honestly spend more time reading bread labels, furiously scanning, and deciphering the ingredients than I can whip up a loaf of no-knead bread.
And while it’s easy to see the ‘vegan’ label on something and just looking at the fat content tells you immediately if there’s added oil, the flour part is about as transparent as the flour itself.
Whole food flour basics
Similar to our rice discussion when we made beans and rice, what makes flour whole is the presence of the entire grain – bran, endosperm, and germ. And that means, a lot more nutrients, including protein (up to 15% higher).
Enough of the science talk though. If you’re looking for whole food flour, the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies advises that you consider:
- Whole wheat pastry flour
- Whole wheat flour
- White whole wheat flour
- Other grain flour including oat, spelt, barley, amaranth, kamut, and rye
When you go flour shopping, be advised that bags of enriched wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, wheat flour, and organic wheat flour aren’t going to be whole grain.
Tips for making flatbread with whole wheat flour
If you’re used to using 'regular' flour, when you switch to whole wheat, you'll find a darker and flour. This all makes for a denser baking adventure. When I tested whole wheat pitas, for example, I made one batch with 'regular flour' and several with whole wheat (because that’s what we normally eat). I was surprised at how differently the whole wheat dough handled. I knew out-of-the bag the whole wheat dough would be stickier, but I didn’t realize it would be more elastic. That’s the strength of the gluten if you're wondering.
What does that mean for our potato flatbread? When you mix the flour into the mashed potatoes, it will bind (and stay) together easier. I ended up using my hand so I could test that the dough would hold when rolled and that’s the great thing. It’s quite elastic, so easier to roll. You can also use a tortilla press if you have one. Be sure to line it with parchment paper or plastic wrap. The dough can be a bit sticky. And while we love cooking, cleaning is another issue.
Stove top or oven for the finish
I’ve made potato flatbread both the oven and on the stovetop. If you use the oven, lay your flatbread out, slightly separated on parchment paper. When they bake, you may notice that they puff up a bit and form air pockets. I usually use a spatula to flatten them. You’ll want to be careful not to over bake them unless crunchy flatbread is your aim.
Although it’s slightly more labor-intensive, I like to dry fry flatbread using a heavy skillet. Each side takes about 1 ½ minutes, and I like the charred flavor. I find it’s easiest to get a quick assembly line going so I get one in the pan and roll the next. If you decide to roll or press all your flatbread before cooking, just be sure not to stack them. They’ll stick together (she states with previous experience).
Being whole food honest might be my motivation for making potato flatbread with whole wheat flour, but I only needed to do this once. After a few chewy bites of that nutty and slightly sweet flavor, I was hooked.
I discovered that when you treat flour as an ingredient, not just a binder with a product for butter to rest on, it tilts your perspective. I also discovered that rather than a white bread sugar high, I was satiated for hours with just one flatbread. Another good thing that happens when you start eating the ‘whole food’ rather than the watered-down, processed versions. Peace.Print
Wholesome whole wheat potato flatbread with just 3 ingredients is so easy, you’ll head straight to the pantry for the ultimate whole food, plant-based wrap.
- 1 cup mashed potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- To make the mashed potatoes, peel and dice the potatoes and add them to a medium pot filled with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to a strong simmer, cover the pot and allow the potatoes to cook until they are fork-tender (about 20 minutes). Drain the potatoes and rinse them with cool water to stop the cooking process.
- In a medium bowl, mash the potatoes with ½ tsp. salt.
- Stir in ½ cup of whole wheat flour with a spoon. Then add the rest of the flour, ¼ a cup at a time, and stir in using the spoon and eventually your hand to form a ball that will stick together. (note: you may end up using a bit more or less of the flour depending on the amount and kind of potatoes you use).
- Lightly flour a rolling surface and flip the dough ball a few times so it won’t stick to the board. Using your hands, roll the dough into a long cylinder. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (more or less depending on the size of the flatbread you want).
- Pause to heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium or, if you are baking the flatbread pre-heat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Form a ball with each piece, then roll into a round flatbread, about ¼ of an inch thick (use can also use a tortilla press for this, see my notes).
- If you are baking the flatbread, roll them, and add them to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 2 minutes until they start to brown and then flip them and bake them for another 2 minutes until brown.
- To pan-fry, we find it easiest to add them one-at-a-time to a heated skillet. Flip them after 1 ½ - 2 minutes (when they are brown on the bottom) and fry until they are browned on both sides.
- Wrap the cooked flatbread in a dry cloth to keep them warm.
- If using a tortilla press, be sure to line the top and bottom with parchment paper or plastic wrap so the flatbread doesn’t stick.
- The main ‘trick’ for perfect flatbread is using equal measures of potato and flour, so don’t worry if you start out with extra potato, just adjust the whole wheat accordingly.
- If you want to make flavored flatbread, try adding ½ tsp. rosemary, cumin, chili flakes, or another of your favorite spices.
- If you use leftover mashed garlic potatoes – yummy!
- Category: On the Side
- Cuisine: Bread
Keywords: whole wheat potato flatbread