Making flatbread is ridiculously easy and very rewarding.
It’s a versatile food—pretty much everything is good on flatbread— and if you don’t want to buy those $3-5 loaves in plastic bags from the supermarket anymore, making your own bread is a great way to save some money and a useful thing to learn.
It is also possible to capture and culture your own yeast if you don’t want to buy it (and happen to like sourdough). It is very easy, so no need to be intimidated out of the idea immediately. I won’t go through the process here, but there are plenty of online resources that can tell you how to do it, and the general idea is: 1 part water + 1 part flour + clean container + time in a warm room = yeast starter.
For the flatbread, you will need:
3 - 4 cups of flour1 cup of warm waterA packet of yeast, or 2 tsp of yeast, or a hunk of yr starter.Butter or oil for the panA rolling pin (If you don’t have a roller, improvise. There are plenty of items that work as rollers, for example, an empty 40 filled with water is prime)Optional: any herbs you like. I like rosemary in mine. Thyme is good, too.
- Mix the water, the yeast, your spices (if any), and one cup of the flour in a big ol’ mixing bowl. This resulting sticky goo, equal parts flour and water, is dough in its sponge stage. If you want a stronger tasting yeasty bread, cover it up in its sponge stage with some plastic wrap and let it bubble for an hour or two.
- Mix the rest of the flour in with a spoon, and then with your hands, 1/4 of a cup at a time. You may not need all four cups of flour. Once the dough is a shaggy mass that cleans the sides of the bowl, it’s ready to be kneaded.
- Put the dough on a floured surface. If it’s wet and sticking to your hands, continue to add flour. Kneading is fun, and you get to do it now. Do it for like five to eight minutes. Try not to break the dough when kneading and make sure to fold and rotate it. The dough should end up feeling smooth, elastic, and somewhat firm.
- Put it back in the bowl. Cover it up with plastic wrap and ~let it rise~. The longer the dough rises, the stronger the flavor. I love a yeasty and flavorful bread-y bread, so I let mine rise overnight in a warm place. But as little as an hour is just fine, too, and this is what most recipes typically call for
- Once it has risen to double its size, or to your satisfaction, press the CO2 bubbles out of it. (“Punch it down”.)
- Take a little hunk of dough—say, like, a quarter of the size of your palm—and place it on a floured surface and UTTERLY FLATTEN IT with your rolling pin. Like, pretty thin! It will rise to about double its thickness on the stove.
- Butter or oil in your frying pan on the stove. I do a little less than “medium” heat. Throw that sucker on there, and flip when the other size is nice and brown.
- At this point, I like to grate some cheese and mince some garlic and put those on the bread. A $5 block of cheddar lasts me like two weeks, and flat bread with white cheddar and garlic is very much worth it, in my opinion. Sauteed vegetables on it are great, too. Get creative.
For storage, put your dough in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. You will find that a little hunk of the dough goes a long way, so depending on how often you make this bread, this bowl could last you a good while.
talk to us about contrast and sillhouettes
AHHH Maddie, you know me well. I find those two things really important in comics, character design, and everything really? I might not be the person to ask about contrast, since I have a preference on how I like to handle my compositions. Contrast should really help with the focus of your panel/illustration/layout, which is basic in theory. With black and white at least, a good way to see how your pages are going is by doing a squint test? 25% white 75% black, vise versa…color is a beast of its own, but it’s relatively the same concept (in most cases?). That’s how I work at least.
Especially with laying out pages, I take into consideration how each panel flows into the next. Like in my Limit comic for Zak’s class like…two semesters ago (ah jeeze it’s lookin’ so old now)
Contrast is not only for one panel in this case, but the whole layout of the page?
And as for silhouettes, SHAPES. Shapes shapes shapes. Even if your characters are a bit more on the semi-realistic/realistic side, faces are all different. Use shapes to not only define features but their posture as well. It’s something I’m still trying to pin down myself, since I did take a step back from animation and character stuff and focus on storytelling.
This is from an old sketchbook, but it’s mostly talking about how to use shapes to create interesting poses, but also to remember to break out of those shapes as well to create points of interest! (Like the triangle shaped pose with the foot sticking out)
I hope that’s decently informative?