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Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread

15 minutes (1 hr 45 min rest time)


6 flatbreads

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!

Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread

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.

Lepinje / Balkan Flatbread

Looking for more?

If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:

Kiflice sa sirom / Crescents with cheese

Easter Bread / Uskršnja Pogača

Božićna Česnica /Serbian Christmas Bread

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.



Adjust Servings
250ml milk
1tsp sugar
10g yeast (1 sachet)
500g all purpose flour
10g salt
150ml lukewarm water
10ml vegetable oil (for burshing)


Make the dough
In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the activated yeast mixture and lukewarm water. If you are using a stand mixer, using a dough hook, begin mixing on low speed and increase the speed after 2-3 minutes. Keep mixing until a shaggy dough begins to form.
If making the dough by hand, stir with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic or until a smooth and soft ball forms. You can add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, but try to keep it soft and slightly sticky. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Mark as complete
Preheat your oven to 200°C. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while it preheats. If not, a baking sheet with baking paper works great. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and let it rest for another 45 minutes. After the second rise, using a rolling pin, roll out each circle into flatter rounds.
Place the lepinje on the preheated baking stone or baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until they are golden brown and have a slightly crispy crust. Remove the lepinje from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving. They are best when served warm and fresh. Also they taste best when eaten on the day. Enjoy!
Mark as complete
You do not have to use milk for this recipe. Instead, replace the same quantity of milk for lukewarm water. The water has to be warm enough for the yeast to rise, but not hot.

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