Want to make your own taboon bread at home? Learn how to make this delicious Levantine flatbread even if you don't have a clay oven!
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Fortunately, taboons are made with only a handful of basic ingredients. That means you can whip up a batch almost anytime!
- Flour: I recommend using a good bread flour, like King Arthur, and not all-purpose, as that type lacks the protein content to create a stretchy, chewy, high-rising bread. Most bakers make taboons with white flour, but you can also use a 40-60 mix of whole wheat and white flour if you like.
- Yeast: I like to use fast-action (aka instant) yeast, as I can skip the 10-minute blooming in warm water and sugar that active dry requires. Feel free to use fresh yeast here as well.
- Salt: A crucial part of dough, salt retards the yeasts' growth slightly and tightens the gluten formation in addition to providing lots of flavor.
- Olive Oil: This ingredient adds softness to the dough and a little more flavor.
- Water: Using warm water encourages the yeast to work more quickly. Add just enough to form a sticky dough, but keep in mind that the exact amount needed will vary based upon the protein content of the flour and the humidity.
Taboons are Levantine flatbreads that are crunchy on the outside and soft inside. They are traditionally baked in a clay oven on hot stones, which give them a bubbly shape and distinctive charred appearance. These flatbreads are typically enjoyed as a base for musakhan, which is chicken cooked with sumac and caramelized onions, and are popular in several countries throughout the Middle East and Asia.
For this recipe, each one contains 177 calories, 4g fat, 29g carbs, 1g fiber, and 5g protein. For the full nutrition facts, scroll to the bottom of the recipe card.
Taboon and pita are basically the same, as they are made with a plain dough (flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil). Naan has a richer dough that contains egg and yogurt, and it doesn't have a pocket like pita does.
Traditionally, they were baked in a special clay oven on top of heated stones. The uneven surface gave the bread a bubbly appearance, and the extreme heat of the stones char it in places.
Fortunately, there is a way replicate this in an electric or gas oven. Fill a pan with clean stones, such as river rocks, and heat the oven to 550°F. Once the oven is up to temperature, bake the taboons individually for 5 minutes per side.
If you don't want to use the stone method, you can always bake them on a pizza stone or cast iron skillet, and char them under the broiler for a couple minutes.
To keep them fresh the longest, I would seal them inside of a zip-top plastic bag, which will also encourage them to stay soft. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients.
Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the salt and yeast.
Add the olive oil and enough water to form a slightly sticky dough.
Knead with the hook on low speed for 3-4 minutes.
Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Punch down the dough and divide it into twelve pieces. Roll each one into a ball and let them rest for 20 minutes.
Flatten a dough ball and gently stretch it quite thin.
Bake each piece individually on a hot pizza stone at 475°F for 5-7 minutes.
Enjoy the taboons with your favorite toppings or sides.
Taboons can be served with almost anything as a topping. Here are some ideas to get you inspired.
- Olive Oil & Za'atar: Simply drizzle the baked taboons with olive oil and sprinkle with za'atar.
- Yogurt & Roasted Veggies: Spread a layer of Greek yogurt on top and add roasted veggies.
- Musakhan: This Levantine chicken dish is made with sumac, allspice, saffron, pine nuts, and caramelized onions, and is the traditional topping for taboons.
- Hummus: A delicious dip commonly made from pureed chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and cumin. Both Lebanon and Israel make claims to this popular food.
- Baba Ganoush: This is a dip similar to hummus, but made with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. It originates from Lebanon.
- Tzatziki: This tangy dip is popular throughout the Levant and in Greece, with many variations. It would make a delicious dip for taboons!
- The traditional baking method is in a special clay oven on stones, which creates a distinctive charred appearance. This is hard to replicate in a gas or electric oven, but you can always bake the bread on a pan full of cleaned, hot stones at 550°F for 5 minutes per side. Alternatively, char the baked taboons under the broiler.
- For soft taboons, wrap the baked ones in a cotton towel as soon as they come out of the oven.
- Serve warm for the best flavor and texture. You can reheat them in the oven at a low heat or in the microwave.
Other Savory Breads You'll Enjoy
- Mexican Telera Rolls
- Pesto Babka
- Panera Black Pepper Focaccia
- Everything Bagel Bread
- Hearty Multigrain Bread
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- Warm the water to 115°F in the microwave or in a saucepan. (Check with a digital thermometer.) Temperatures above this can kill the yeast.
- Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, stirring each one in with your finger. Keeping the salt and yeast separate in this way prevents the salt from directly touching the yeast, which can kill it.
- Add the olive oil and half of the warm water, then mix with the paddle attachment on low speed to form a dry, clumpy mixture. Gradually trickle in the remaining water while the mixer runs until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. (You may not need all the water, or you may need a little extra, depending upon the protein content of the flour and the humidity.)
- Switch attachments to the dough hook and knead on low speed (#2 on a KitchenAid mixer) until the dough passes the windowpane test, about 3-4 minutes. The windowpane test means that you can break off a lump of dough and stretch it thin enough to be translucent without it tearing. If it tears, knead for another minute and check again.
- Shape the dough into a ball and let it rise at room temperature until it is at least doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces, using a kitchen scale for accuracy. (Each piece should weigh approximately 74g.) Roll each one into a ball and place them on a large cutting board or baking sheet.
- Cover the balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel or proving bag and let them rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 475°F and slide a pizza stone or large cast iron skillet in to preheat.
- You'll shape and bake each taboon individually. Start by using your fingertips to flatten the rested ball of dough, then carefully stretch it in all directions to create a thin, flat disc. Aim for a thickness between 3/16 and ¼ inch. (If you stretch the dough quite thin, it will puff like a pita in the hot oven.)
- Carefully place the disc on the preheated stone and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the taboon has puffed up and is lightly browned. Use a spatula to remove it and place it on a cooling rack, keeping the stone in the oven. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until all twelve are shaped and baked.
- Let the taboons cool for 10-15 minutes on wire racks so they are cool enough to eat, or wrap in a cotton towel to keep them soft and warm. Serve with musakhan, baba ganoush, or hummus, or split the taboons in half and fill like a pita.
- The traditional baking method is in a special clay oven on stones, which creates a distinctive charred appearance. This is hard to replicate in a gas or electric oven, but you can always bake the bread on a pan full of cleaned, hot stones at 550°F for 5 minutes per side. Alternatively, char baked ones under the broiler.
- Serve the taboons warm for the best flavor and texture. You can reheat them in the oven at a low heat or in the microwave.