Homemade Laffa Bread

Laffa bread recipe
Miri Rotkovitz
Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Rising Time: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
258 Calories
4g Fat
48g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 258
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 440mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 75mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Think of laffa as the pita's softer, fluffier, pocketless cousin. The pliable, slightly chewy Iraqi flatbread enjoys tremendous popularity in Israel as well, where it's used as a sandwich wrap, for scooping up dips like hummus or baba ghanoush, and as an accompaniment to an Israeli breakfast spread (it's perfect for sopping up saucy shakshuka). 

It's traditionally cooked in a taboon―a clay-walled, wood-fired oven―but you can get good results in a home oven with a pizza stone or even an upside-down rimmed baking sheet. You can also cook laffa on a grill pan or in a cast-iron skillet, which scorches the bread and adds a little smoky flavor. 

Requiring no kneading, laffa bread is made with ingredients you most likely have available in your pantry—water, sugar, yeast, flour, salt, and olive oil. We know making bread can be intimidating, but stick with us and you'll have this delicious pita-like bread made in no time.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour, more for rolling

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, or fine kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this laffa bread is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook (or, if mixing by hand, in a large bowl), combine the water and sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast, stir, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam.

  3. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix on low speed (or with a large wooden spoon) until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough pulls into a ball. The dough will be soft and fairly sticky.

  4. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature of the room. 

  5. Flour a work surface. With well-floured hands, divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. Cup each piece between your hands, shaping the dough into balls.

  6. Cover the dough balls with a tea towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 10 to 20 minutes more. 

To Bake the Laffa

  1. While the dough is on its second round of rising, preheat the oven to 500 F. Once the oven is preheated, place 2 rimmed baking sheets upside down in the oven, and allow to heat for 10 minutes. (If you are using a pizza stone, preheat to 525 F, and place the stone(s) in the oven when you turn it on.) 

  2. On a well-floured surface, roll each dough ball into a thin 8- to 10-inch round or oval. Prick all over with a fork.

  3. Working quickly (but carefully) so you don't let too much heat escape from the oven, transfer a piece of shaped dough onto each baking sheet or stone.

  4. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes, or until the laffa begins to turn golden brown in spots.

  5. Carefully remove the baked laffa from the oven with tongs, transfer to a platter, and cover with a piece of foil to keep the laffa warm and allow it to steam slightly. Working in batches, repeat with the rest of the dough.

  6. Enjoy warm, or wrap in foil and store in a plastic bag for one to two days at room temperature. Reheat the foil-wrapped laffa before serving. 

To Pan-Fry the Laffa

  1. Heat a grill pan or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with oil, and add a piece of laffa dough. Cook until the bottom begins to brown in spots, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn with tongs or a spatula, and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes more, or until the dough is cooked through, and the surface is bubbled and charred in spots.

  2. Transfer the laffa to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm and steam slightly. Repeat with the rest of the dough, lightly oiling the pan as needed. 

How to Store

  • While laffa bread is best eaten the day it's made, it can be double wrapped in foil and a plastic bag, then stored at room temperature for up to two days. Simply reheat while it's still wrapped in the foil.

How Do You Eat Laffa Bread?

Delicious served warm all by itself, it's a delight to dip in homemade hummus, or like its counterpart, the pita, as a wrap for your favorite sandwich.