Somen (Balkan Flatbread)

"Some exciting news - so please forgive the double post today! I’ll be doing a live tomorrow with @rachelanndolfi and @thefeedfeed where I’ll be making and talking about Chomlek (a beautiful beef stew with just beef, garlic, shallots and vinegar), Shopska salad and somun (Balkan flatbread)! We will be live at 11am NYC time / 4pm London time. Super excited, and hope to see you there! 💕"
-- @balkankitchen

Recipe Intro From balkankitchen

This traditional Balkan flatbread is a soft fluffy bread that's perfect next to any stew or salad. Baked for just a few minutes, it's a labor of love, but absolutely worth the work! 

Jump to Section
  • Recipe Card
Prep time 2hrs 40mins
Cook time 10mins

Recipe Card


  • 2 cups (250 grams) bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tablespoon (5 grams) dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • Nigella or sesame seeds, for sprinkling


  • Step 1

    Mix the yeast with the sugar or honey, the milk (to reinvigorate the yeast) and a little of the water. Leave for 15 mins or until the yeast is bubbling.

  • Step 2

    Sift the flour into a bowl and mix the salt with the flour. Make a well in the middle of the flour then add the yeast and start to mix with the flour. Start adding the water little by little bringing it together with your hand or a spatula so there are no lumps. It should be a very wet/soft dough. Cover with damp cloth and leave to proof in a warm place for 45 minutes to an 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

  • Step 3

    Knock back or fold over the dough, cover with the damp cloth and leave to proof again for another 30 minutes-45 minutes.

  • Step 4

    When dough is doubled in size and bubbly, turn out onto very well floured surface. Cut into 4 (or 2 if you prefer larger breads), then gently knead each and shape into a tight ball.

  • Step 5

    Place the dough balls onto a floured baking sheet or parchment paper and let rest for another 45 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Preheat the oven to 480°F. After they have rested, flatten them with your finger tips into a circle. Make a criss cross pattern over the top of the dough with the blunt edge of a knife and sprinkle nigella or sesame seeds over the top.

  • Step 7

    Sprinkle tops of the bread with a few drops of water, and bake for 5-10 minutes. They will puff up and will sound hollow to the touch when ready.