Our favorite gluten-free unleavened bread recipe is this Yufka, a Turkish-style flatbread. This gluten-free version is rolled thin and cooked on the stovetop. No yeast or baking is required!
Perfect for wraps or dessert crepes. Or just slather with butter and honey and call it a day! It is similar to a homemade soft chapati or roti. And sure to be a crowd-pleaser. I love it paired with our spicy lamb vindaloo or our Vietanmese-style grilled pork.
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First off, I want to give a shout out to My Cooking Journey, another food blog that has a bunch of flatbread recipes from different regions. This is where I discovered the stovetop cooking method for flatbreads and learned about Yufka to start with.
This recipe might seem like it has a lot of steps. But in reality, it is very easy. We broke it down into easy to follow steps and the hands-on time is minimal thanks to the limited number of ingredients (and no yeast!).
Why This is the Best Flatbread Recipe
- Gluten Free
- Naturally Dairy Free
- Limited ingredients
- Made without yeast
- Cooked in a pan rather than baked
Not typically but it depends on the recipe. Most are made from wheat flour, not gluten-free, or corn flour, which is gluten-free. Leavened flatbreads may also contain gluten depending on the type of yeast used.
This version is made gluten-free using a gluten-free flour blend.
Unleavened means made without yeast. Beyond Yufka, other unleavened breads include tortillas, roti, matzah, arepas, and some types of lavash.
When using so few ingredients in a recipe it is important that they are fresh and of good quality. It really makes a difference in the final product.
For this GF flatbread recipe, you will need:
- Gluten-Free Flour
- Kosher Salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This recipe works for both gluten-free flour and regular all-purpose flour. I have used the Namaste brand gluten-free flour which can be found online at Amazon and at Costco and Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour blend which has a chickpea base. Additionally, I have used a homemade flour blend and Pillsbury's gluten-free flour blend with equal success. If your flour doesn't have xanthan gum you will need to add ¼ teaspoons.
How to Make Yufka
Making unleavened bread is easy. The key is letting the dough rest. Gluten-free baking generally benefits from a good rest before the bake. The minimum for resting the dough is 4 to 5 hours but I prefer overnight.
Step 1: Make the Gluten Free Dough
Mix the salt, flour, and xanthan gum (if your mix doesn't have it) in a mixing bowl. Give it a quick stir.
Slowly add the warm water. You might not use all of it. But the dough should just come together. You can mix the water with your hands or use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer (my preference).
Step 2: Knead the Dough
Once the flour and water are thoroughly combined. Add the olive oil and start kneading the dough until it is very soft and smooth.
When using a stand mixer, I switch to a dough hook to help knead. Gluten-free flour can be sticky, and the hook can help speed things up. It will look something like the picture below.
Step 3: Rest the Dough Overnight
Cover the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours.
Don't skip this step! Gluten free bread tends to be dry and crumbling. Resting the dough so it fully hydrates is a key step.
Step 4: Roll the Dough
Once the dough is rested, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and form it into small round balls. You can weigh them out if you like. But Yufka is a more casual style flatbread, so I skip this step.
Cover with a towel and let the dough balls rest on the counter for about 15 minutes. The dough is easier to roll at room temperature.
After resting at room temperature. Use your hands to flatten out the dough into small discs.
Lightly dust the counter and each ball with gluten-free flour, start rolling the dough. Roll it as thin as possible without tearing the dough. Dust more flour on the counter between rollings.
Step 5: Cook the Flatbread
For the best results, you want to use a cast-iron pan. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, use a heavy-bottomed flat pan or a griddle.
The Yufka will cook quickly, about 2 minutes per side. Therefore plan to work fast.
Keep the cooked yufka on a tray with a kitchen towel over until you are ready to serve.
Start by heating your oil over medium heat. Add one flatbread at a time. Cook on one side until the flatbread starts to get puffy spots like the picture below. About 2 minutes.
Then flip the flatbread and cook until golden brown. Another 2 minutes. You will want to very lightly oil the pan in between flatbreads.
- The dough can be very sticky. Spray oil on your dough hook in order to prevent sticking.
- If kneading by hand, make sure your hands are damp with water to prevent sticking.
- I find that once I get to the rolling and cooking part it goes much faster with two people. One rolls, the other cooks the flatbreads. When making alone I separate the rolled out pieces between parchment. Once all rolled, I then cook the flatbreads.
- Use filtered water for a neutral-tasting flatbread.
- If the dough is tearing or is hard to roll. Let is rest on the counter for another 15 minutes. Be sure to cover with a dishtowel.
- You can use a griddle or grill pan if you don't have a cast-iron pan available.
Gluten Free Flatbread Pairings
Not sure what to pair your flatbreads with? Here are a few of our favorite entrees that would benefit from a little bread on the side. Plus our favorite fruit spread for a scrumptious dessert option.
Strawberry Butter Fruit Spread
Citrus Shredded Beef (Crockpot)
Spice Crusted Flank Steak
Unleavened gluten-free flatbreads are best eaten the day they are made. However, you can store leftovers in a plastic ziploc style bag for 2 to 3 days. They can be stored at room temperature.
To reheat, sprinkle with a little water and heat in a skillet.
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Unleavened Turkish Flatbread
- In a mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.8 oz gluten free flour (about 1 ½ cups), 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Slowly add the warm water to form a dough. You can use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or your hands.⅔ cup warm water
- Add the olive oil and start kneading the dough until it is very soft and smooth. Switch to a dough hook for your mixer or use your hands.2 tablespoon olive oil
- Cover the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for a minimum of 5 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Once the dough is rested, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Cover with a towel and let the dough balls rest on the counter for about 15 minutes.
- Lightly dust the counter and each ball with gluten-free flour, start rolling the dough. Roll it as thin as possible without tearing the dough. Dust more flour on the counter between rollings.
- Light brush the skillet or in a cast iron pan with oil. Cook the rolled flatbreads on medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides. About 2 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed.2 tablespoon olive oil
- Remove from heat and keep wrapped in a kitchen towel until ready to serve.
- It is recommended that you allow this dough to sit overnight. Resting gluten-free flours makes it easier to roll out as they need to hydrate because they lack gluten.
- If the dough resists rolling, rest it for longer and then try to roll again.
- The flatbread tends to harden very quickly. It can be sprayed/sprinkled with warm water before serving to soften it.