This coconut psyllium flatbread is soft, tender, with a light coconut flavor. It’s not only vegan and gluten-free, but it’s also paleo and keto friendly. I usually serve it alongside Indian dishes, but it’s also perfect as a low-carb tortilla or wrap.
There was a time in my life that I completely avoided bread. All it took was one seemingly innocent comment from my classmate: “Haven’t you gained weight recently?“. From that moment on I restricted my diet, started reading books about weight loss, and cut out every food I read something negative about.
Bread-type foods were the first to go since I learned that our bodies aren’t very good at dealing with large amounts of carbohydrates. No more bread for breakfast, wraps for lunch, or crackers as a snack. I also read that eliminating gluten could help with weight loss. So, gluten-containing foods were the next to go. After a few months of these practices, I was left with fruits and vegetables, pseudo-grains, legumes, nuts, green tea and water.
I felt like a crazy person. My reasonable self knew that I shouldn’t be restricting my diet so much, but every comment about how skinny I was felt like an accomplishment. I was losing weight and loved the way I looked.
On top of eliminating entire food groups from my diet, I ran ten miles every morning, did squats and push-ups while studying, and paced in my room instead of sleeping. I was hungry, cold, tired, and unable to pick myself up. I pushed my body to the point that I collapsed.
Now that I am at a healthy weight, people ask me how I overcame my eating disorder. My answer is always the same – healthy eating literally saved my life. My focus shifted from calorie counting to nourishment. For whatever reason, I believed that every product that was labeled “healthy” would be OK for me to eat. (I am putting the word healthy in quotes because I think everyone’s opinions of food and health vary).
Some things I want to reiterate here are, that I do not believe that grains or carbohydrates are bad. No natural food group should be vilified, just as no macronutrient should be either. However, if you’re on a low-carb diet and crave bread, this recipe might just be for you. Psyllium is a 100 % natural source of fiber and coconut flour is such an excellent alternative to grain flours. So this psyllium flatbread (jut like these flaxseed wraps) are an excellent grain-based bread alternative.
Whew! Now some notes on the recipe.
Tips for Making Psyllium Flatbread
The base ingredient in this recipe is coconut flour. Coconut flour is very unique in that it doesn’t perform the same as grain-based flours in baking. It’s extraordinarily absorbent and very little coconut flour is needed to successfully produce a recipe. It also tends to be very dry, which is where psyllium husk comes in.
Psyllium is a form of soluble fiber that provides not only elasticity and structure, but also binding. It works a bit like gluten in traditional baking, and makes it possible to handle the dough.
I am also using a little bit of baking soda for leavening and olive oil for moisture. The salt is optional but recommended.
The dough for this psyllium flatbread is really easy to make. It does take a little bit of time for the coconut flour and psyllium husk to absorb all the water so the dough is moist at first. However, it gets dryer after about a minute and is really easy to work with. I like to rest the dough in a bowl for 10 minutes to let the psyllium husk absorb the moisture and create an elastic, soft dough. The dough should not be crumbly or sticky.
The easiest way to roll out the dough is to use a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Simply place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to your desired thickness and shape. If this is your first time making this psyllium flatbread, I recommend that you roll out the dough a bit thicker and smaller (no larger than 8 inches in diameter). The thicker and smaller the dough, the easier it is to handle.
To shape the flatbread, place a plate on top of the rolled-out dough and cut around the edges. Keep the edges to reform more bread.
Since I have made this recipe numerous times now, I am comfortable lifting the rolled out dough off the parchment paper and transferring it to a hot griddle. Another option is to flip over the flatbread onto a griddle with the parchment paper and then carefully peel the parchment paper off. I also find that if you let the rolled out dough rest for even just a couple of minutes, it’s easier to handle. (This is not necessary, but if you’re worried about the dough tearing, it’s just another tip.)
I use a seasoned cast iron (= naturally non-stick) pan to make the psyllium flatbread. I slightly grease the pan with olive oil that I rub onto a piece of absorbent paper. No oil should remain in the pan. You don’t want to fry the bread. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, a non-stick pan should work too.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Tortilla Press (8-Inch, Cast Iron) | 2. Pan (12 Inches, Lodge, Cast Iron) | 3.Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 4. Rolling Pin (French, Wood) | 5. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 6. Measuring Cup (1 Cup, Pyrex, Glass) | 7. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Stainless Steel) | 8. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel) | 9. Tongs (2 Pieces, Dragonn, Stainless Steel)
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- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup warm water
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, psyllium husk, baking soda, and salt.
Add in olive oil and warm water. Stir it well with a spatula, then use your hands to knead the dough. Knead for 1 minute. The dough should be moist and get softer and slightly dryer as you go. If the dough is too sticky, add more husk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. The dough will always be a bit moist but it shouldn't stick to your hands at all. It must come together as a soft, elastic dough. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 even pieces, roll each pieces into a small ball. Place one of the dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper, press the ball with your hand palm to flatten it out a little bit. Start rolling with a rolling pin as thin as you like a bread. My breads are usually around 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Unpeel the first layer of parchment paper from your flatbread. Use a plate to cut out round flatbread. Keep the outside dough to reform a ball and roll more flatbread - that is how I make 1 extra flatbread from the 4 balls above!
To cook the bread, heat up your cast iron (or non-stick) pan over medium-high heat and add one teaspoon of olive oil. Rub the surface of the pan with a piece of an absorbent paper towel to get rid of any excess oil in the pan (so the bread doesn't fry). Flip over the flatbread on the hot pan and peel off carefully the last piece of parchment paper. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side, flip over using a spatula and cook for 1-2 more minute on the other side.
Cool down the flatbread on a plate and use as a sandwich wrap later or enjoy hot as a side dish. Repeat the rolling, cooking for the next 3 flatbread. Make sure you rub the oiled absorbent paper onto the saucepan each time to avoid the bread to stick to the pan.
Store in the pantry in an airtight box or on a plate covered with plastic wrap to keep them soft, for up to 3 days. Rewarm in the same pan or if you want to give them a little crisp rewarm in the hot oven on a baking sheet for 1-2 minutes at 300°F/150°C. You can also freeze the flatbread.