Uyghur Flatbread (Nángbĭng)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8

  • Cook

    3 hours 15 minutes


By Carolyn Phillips

Published on July 26, 2016

The Uyghurs of the western regions of China refer to these flatbread as nang, which have existed for centuries as a staple at every meal. Punctured with a nail-studded tool, they're scattered with any variety of seeds and spices and vary in diameter from a few inches across to a foot or more. Though they're usually cooked in tandoors, an oven with a pizza stone will do. Flour in China is lower in protein than American all-purpose, forming a dough that is comparatively lower in gluten, the result of which is fluffy no matter how thinly rolled. To avoid a crackerlike bread, a mixture of all-purpose and pastry flour will do the trick.

Recipe adapted from All Under Heaven.


  • 1 12 tsp. active dry yeast (1/8 oz.)
  • 1 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 13 cups all-purpose mixed with 2/3 cup pastry flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • Optional toppings: sesame seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, ground black pepper, sea salt


Step 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, combine the yeast, salt, sugar, and 1 1⁄4 cups of lukewarm water (about 115°F). Let the mixture stand until foamy, about 10 minutes, and then add the flour, wheat germ, butter, and oil. Mix on low speed until a dough comes together and no dry flour remains. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth, about 6 minutes more. Cover the bowl and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 2

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. Punch the dough down, re-cover, and let it rise, again at room temperature, until doubled in volume (about 30–40 minutes more).

Step 3

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal pieces, about 6 oz. each, and gently shape each into a round. Cover with a towel and let them rest for 15 minutes. Working with one ball at a time, use a rolling pin to flatten each piece into a 7-inch circle. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover again and let the breads rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature.

Step 4

Lightly prick the dough all over with a fork and brush lightly with water. Sprinkle with your desired toppings, slide the loaves onto the hot stone, and bake until just golden brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

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