May Baker’s Spotlight: Connie Nieman

May Baker's Spotlight: Connie Nieman

May Baker’s Spotlight: Connie Nieman

It’s spring and that means baking for graduations, post-Covid family gatherings, and for those food heroes…farmers doing the FIELD WORK all across the U.S. Let’s spotlight a great baker who knows how to serve a beautiful catered meal OR a hand held field meal, Connie Nieman Retired FCS Culinary and Baking Instructor from Chillicothe, MO.

Some of you have met Connie as a teacher at Home Baking Association workshops.  She’s always trying and sharing something new! We asked Connie her latest favorite baked product and she voted for a griddle-baked pliable Fresh Flat Bread. It’s baked using an Asian water roux method for the dough- also called tangzhong. 

“The tangzhong method creates a bread that is extremely light, pliable, soft and versatile. This bread is wonderful and a favorite at our house.  It is delicious, and so easy to make. It is wonderful warm with or without cinnamon and sugar.  

Filled Flat bread- Breakfast Ham and Scrambled Eggs

“I use it for tacos, fajitas, hamburgers, pulled pork, with hummus, leftover chicken or turkey with cheese or any filling I use for a sandwich.  What’s extra great is it will stay fresh in a sealed bag after cooking for at least 3-4 days. “

Connie’s recipe is based on the Shawnee Milling Flatbread Sandwich recipe.                                               

INGREDIENTSVOLUMEOUNCESGRAMS
All-purpose flour (May be part to ½ whole wheat flour)3 cups12 ¾  ounces360 grams
Boiling water1 ¼ cups10 ounces283.75 grams
Instant potato Flakes½ cup1 ¼ ounces32 grams
Table salt1 ¼ teaspoons  
Instant yeast1 teaspoon 3 grams
Olive oil2 Tablespoons 25 grams
  1. Measure or scale 2 cups (8 ½ ounces or 240 grams) all-purpose flour into a bowl. 
  2. Pour the boiling water over the flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Cover the flour/water mixture and set to the side for 30 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the instant potato flakes, 1 cup (4 ¼ ounces or 120 grams) remaining all-purpose flour, table salt, and instant yeast.
  5. After 30 minutes check the temperature of the flour and water mixture.  The temperature should be 105° to 115° F. or less.
  6. Add the cooled flour/water mixture, until the dough forms a soft ball, but remains somewhat sticky.  Add up to additional ¼ cup flour only if necessary.
  7. Knead for several minutes until a soft dough forms.  If kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface slightly oiled. 
  8. Let the dough rise, covered for 1 hour or dough may be sealed in a container with room to expand and refrigerated overnight.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each piece should be around 3 ounces). 
  10. Cover and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
  11. Roll each piece in a 7 to 8 – inch circle. 
  12. Dry fry (fry without oil) over medium heat about 1 minute per side in a cast iron or heavy skillet or griddle, until puffed and flecked with brown spots. 
  13. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they will be raw in the middle, while too slowly will dry them out. 
  14. Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep soft.
  15. Serve immediately or cool slightly before storing in a plastic bag for up to 4 days or freeze up to a month. 

Connie’s TIPS for this recipe include:

–  50 % white wheat flour can be used.   One cup of white wheat flour is 4 ounces or 113 grams)

– This dough can be mixed with a wooden spoon but it is easier to make with a mixer. 

–  The 3-ounce wrap bread is very large, you may want to divide the dough into 2-ounce pieces.

–   I have had success refrigerating the dough pieces after they are divided for 1-2 days in a Ziploc bag.

–   If the dough is refrigerated remove and let rest for at least 30 minutes before cooking.    

–   Rolling wraps thin is best.  They rise in the skillet and will be thicker after cooking.   

–   The brand and type of flour (soft, all-purpose or bread) affects the amount of flour needed in the recipe- I used a hard winter wheat unbleached flour like Shawnee all-purpose, Hudson Cream short patent or Heckers Ceresota all-purpose.    

Enjoy baking and carrying your Flat Breads to events, a reunion our to your favorite farmer in the field!

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