Armenian Flatbread is perfectly soft, and great as a lunch wrap or alongside a hearty stew. Make this lavash bread recipe easily at home!
This traditional thin bread is an integral part of Middle Eastern cuisine. It appears alongside many traditional dishes such as lamb tagine, and because it is so delicious and versatile, has spread to many of the surrounding areas.
Armenian Flatbread (Lavash)
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Armenians bake a lavash bread recipe in a traditional handmade oven called a tonir. Members of the family keep it spotless because it’s a sacred part of their home.
Its existence supports the life and health of the family and community. Today it can be found in most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets sold in plastic bags containing 3 foot long sheets of it!
flatbread, lavash bread, unleavened bread
Difficulty: Medium 🥄🥄
Unleavened or yeast-risen flatbread
Although many flatbread recipes are unleavened, this lavash bread recipe does call for yeast. I don't use a lot of it, so the rise is relatively small.
Lavash Bread Recipe
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Yeast- This will leaven the bread and help it achieve the characteristic bubbly texture. Be sure to use active dry yeast and not quick rise.
- Flour- Be sure to use a quality flour that is unbleached and not bromated. As a result, your bread will have an authentic, old-world flavor.
- Sugar- Allows yeast to rise and expand.
- Salt- The use of this ingredient should not be taken lightly. Salt is a key component in the development of flavor.
- Olive Oil- Alleviates some stickiness and creates a smoother dough.
- Optional Sesame Seeds- These are for rolling into the dough before baking.
To make this lavash bread recipe you’ll need:
- Electric stand mixer- If you don’t own a stand mixer, a handheld electric mixer can be used. However, you may still need to work the ingredients together a bit by hand.
- Two lightweight kitchen towels
- Rolling pin
- Large griddle or skillet for cooking. Ideally, this should cover two burners.
How to make Armenian flatbread
- Proof the yeast.
Bloom the yeast by adding it to a mixture of flour and water. Let this paste sit out at room temperature until it is double its original size.
Depending on the temperature and humidity of the room, this might take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes.
Refer to photo 2, below for approximate before and after size comparison.
- Create the dough.
Add the rest of the ingredients to your stand mixer and combine until it forms a ball. You will know it’s ready when the dough releases easily from the sides of the bowl.
- Allow it to rise.
Allow the mixture to rest until it doubles in size. Then, knead it again in the mixer, using the hook attachment.
- Rise a second time.
Divide the flatbread dough evenly into 8 balls and let them rise.
- Roll bread dough into slices.
After the dough has risen, roll each piece out flat with a rolling pin. Now is the time to sprinkle the sesame seeds onto one side if you decide to use them!
- Cook the lavash bread.
Heat the griddle, then cook your bread carefully so that it does not tear!
Troubleshooting tips for this lavash bread recipe
- Bread burns or cooks too fast.
If the surface is cooking too quickly and burning while leaving the inside doughy, try turning the burners down, or even completely off, between batches.
- Dry and brittle texture.
If the bread dries out after cooking, simply sprinkle with cool water and let sit for a few minutes. This should help it return to the right consistency, chewy and pliable.
- Don’t skip the second rise.
While it’s tempting to not take the time, a second rise makes it easier to work with the dough. Additionally, it creates a better bubbly texture as the Armenian flatbread cooks.
It’s a small investment of time that will pay off with big results: a better tasting, better-textured flatbread!
There are plenty of ways to use Armenian flatbread! For starters, it is delicious wrapped around fresh homemade falafel.
Need a quick snack? Spread a bit of butter over it, then top with tangy Lebanese za’atar.
Lavash (Armenian Flatbread)
- 70 g all-purpose flour (½ cup)
- 70 ml lukewarm water (¼ cup plus a scant 1 tbsp)
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 240 ml lukewarm water (1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 440 g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (3 cups plus 2 Tbsp)
- Using a rubber spatula, mix together the flour, water, and yeast in a bowl until it forms a thick paste. Scrape the paste into a small, lightly oiled container, cover, and let it sit out for 1½ to 2 hours (See Note 1). Old dough should have doubled in volume.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the old dough, water, oil, and salt. Squish the old dough with your hands to break it up in the water.
- Add 1 cup of the flour and using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the dough looks like pancake batter. Next add the remaining flour and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough sit for 20 minutes (See Note 2).
- Remove towel, attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and mix the dough on medium speed until the dough releases from the sides of the bowl without sticking and feels smooth to the touch, about 4 minutes.
- Lightly grease an 8 cup bowl and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 3 hours or until doubled in volume (See Note 3).
- Dust a clean surface lightly with flour and place the dough on top. Cut the dough into 8 pieces about 3.5 ounces each.
Shape the dough
- Cup the palm of your hand over one portion at a time and move your hand in a circle. The friction from the counter will help form the dough into a ball.
- Lightly oil a rimmed tray and place the dough on the tray, don't let dough balls touch. Cover with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray or oil. Let rest for 1 hour (See Note 4).
- Dust a clean surface lightly with flour. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll each ball of dough into a thin rectangle about 8x12 inches. Work in batches and keep dough covered in between. OPTIONAL: once dough is rolled out, sprinkle sesame seeds on one side, and with rolling pin, press seeds into dough. These doesn’t have to look perfect.
Cook the Lavash
- Place a large cast-iron pan (or griddle over two burners) over medium-high heat for a few minutes or until a sprinkle of water instantly evaporates.
- Place the dough in the pan or over the griddle. Cook for 1 minute or until puffed slightly and blistered. Turn over using tongs to cook the other side, no more than 30 seconds. For extra browning, flip it over for 30 more seconds.
- Transfer the lavash to a baking sheet and cover with a dry kitchen towel while you cook the rest of the dough.
- Eat the lavash soon after making it or store it in plastic bags to keep the bread pliable. It’s okay if it dries out and turns brittle; rehydrate it by misting the lavash with water and covering it with a towel to let it soften. Soon after, it should be pliable enough to roll up without cracking. If it’s still cracking, mist with more water.
- Or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature for at least 2 hours before using.
- This allows the flour to hydrate.
- Or refrigerate overnight and let the dough come to room temperature for at least 2 hours before portioning.
- At this point you can refrigerate for up to 3 days, covered.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.