Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread
15 minutes (1 hr 45 min rest time)
A delicious Serbian version of the soft and fluffy bread – Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread. Most cultures have some sort of variation of a flat bread recipe. It is mostly made with simple ingredients, flour, water and salt, served to accompany a meal. In Serbia, Lepinje is most commonly known for being served with ćevapi (minced meat sausages) or as a side of bread to meals or traditional dishes. You can find Lepinje in most restaurants – the ones baked in wood burners are the best! However, homemade Lepinje are always great and we all have our own way of preparing them. This recipe is super simple and is how I make Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread at home. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
About this recipe
Lepinje is basically a type of daily bread across the Balkans. It’s known for its slightly crispy crust and soft interior. While it translates to flat bread, lepinje are usually a bit more fluffy and pillowy than other flatbread recipes. You can find lepinje served in many restaurants and homes. It is a very basic recipe, requiring all the basics – flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water. However, some restaurants and households make Lepinje with a slightly enriched dough, usually by adding milk or butter. Lepinje are not made with eggs but you can add a small amount of butter or vegetable oil if you wish.
Personally, I love the basic recipe. Depending on the occasion, I will either prepare Lepinje with simple and plain ingredients or with a small amount of butter and milk. This recipe is made with milk, sugar, yeast, flour, salt and water. While the dough rises, I brush it with some vegetable oil to prevent it from drying out. The bread is also baked at a high temperature and tastes even better baked under a wood fire stove. Depending on the region and family tradition, we all have our own way of preparing this delicious bread recipe. The recipe below is how I love to make it at home – it’s simple and easy for anyone to make.
Making the recipe
If you are familiar with bread baking, you will find this recipe easy to follow. Head down below to get straight into baking. However, if you want a quick rundown here it is:
Begin by mixing the dough either by hand or with a stand mixer. Prepare the yeast by adding lukewarm milk, sugar, and yeast to a small bowl. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes until it bubbles. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt, mix and make a well in the middle. To this, add the proved yeast and lukewarm water. Begin mixing the dough on a gentle speed for the first few minutes. Once a shaggy dough begins to form, mix the dough at a slightly higher speed. Turn the dough over onto a floured surface and knead until you get a smooth ball.
Place the dough back into a greased bowl and brush the top of the dough with some vegetable oil. Let it to rest for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Once it is ready, turn the dough over onto a floured surface and divide into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece to a ball, cover and allow it to rise once more for 45 minutes. Lastly, take each ball and using a rolling pin gently flatten into round flatbread. Place each Lepinja bread on a baking sheet.
Bake in an already pre-heated oven for 15 – 18 minutes or until the flatbread turns a golden-brown colour. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Looking for more?
If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:
Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread are perfect for making sandwiches with various fillings like grilled meats, vegetables, cheese, and condiments. I hope you enjoy this recipe for homemade Serbian flatbread! Be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! If you have questions, you can find me over on Instagram or tag me with your photo. You can also find me over on TikTok and Youtube.
|10g yeast (1 sachet)|
|500g all purpose flour|
|150ml lukewarm water|
|10ml vegetable oil (for burshing)|