Pharaoh's Bread (Emmer Flatbread)
Baked, Bread, Cooking History, Sides, Vegetarian

Pharaoh’s Bread – a flatbread made from emmer wheat

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Emmer bread doesn’t have to be an uninspired sandwich bread that’s as dense as the rye bricks that you find in Northern Germany. Prepared as a flatbread, emmer bread can be as light as wheat bread. I call my version of emmer flatbread “Pharaoh’s bread” because that is how I imagine what bread looked like in ancient Egypt.

The recipe is compromised solely of ingredients that were available in ancient Egypt – except for a tiny amount of Baker’s yeast. The recipe is based on an emmer sourdough, however, I don’t have the patience to wait hours for it to rise. If you prefer to omit the Baker’s yeast, then just leave the dough to rise for longer until it has doubled in size.

The spice mix that I sprinkle on top is compromised of three popular seasonings in ancient Egypt:

  • Thyme
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds

The ancient Egyptians prized coriander seeds as an aphrodisiac. They were a symbol of eternal love and enduring passion whereas cumin seeds were a sign of faithfulness. Thyme was a sign of courage and farewell.

Of course, it’s up to you if you believe the myths surrounding these spices. But maybe eating this emmer flatbread really makes you more compassionate and loving. After all, the ancient Egyptians were wise men and women.

A visual guide to emmer flatbread

This is one of the simplest bread recipes that have been posted to my blog. There is only one thing you need to be careful with: don’t over-knead the dough! Emmer dough is never going to be as smooth and stretchable as a wheat dough. Gentle hand-kneading is all I do with emmer dough. Once the dough is stretchable and smooth, stop kneading.

Kneaded emmer dough ripping

After the dough has risen, I divide it into evenly-sized pieces and shape the flatbreads. I do this gently without deflating the dough too much.

Dividing the dough into 4 pieces
Dough ball
Shaped flatbread ready for proofing

Before baking, I brush the flatbreads with olive oil that I have mixed with my seasonings. Be generous with the olive oil as that is going to fry the top of the emmer flatbreads in the oven: delicious!

Flatbreads before baking
Baking the flatbreads in the hot oven

And lastly, take a look at the crumb: it’s as airy as an Italian pizza made from strong wheat flour. Outstanding!

Crust of the pharaoh's bread


  1. Hi 👋 sieht gut aus!
    Nur mir fehlen Mengenangaben???
    VG Opa Reiner

    • Vielen lieben Dank, Opa Reiner!

      Ich nehme an Du besuchst den Blog über den WordPress Reader? Da funktioniert leider die Darstellung der Rezepte nicht 🙃. Besuche am besten meine Website ( über einen Internet Browser, da siehst Du dann unten noch ein Rezeptfeld mit den Mengenangaben. Ich habe es versucht, konnte bisher allerdings noch nichts machen, dass die Rezeptkarte auch in WordPress dargestellt wird.

  2. Genau! Alles klar. Da hätte ich fast selbst drauf kommen können.
    Das ist die Story vom Wald 🌳 und den Bäumen.
    Danke 🙏
    LG Opa Reiner

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