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Lepinja (Balkan Flatbread) in a basket with a gray and white towel.

Lepinja (Balkan Flatbread)

A recipe for Lepinja (Balkan Flatbread)! This soft and fluffy yeast-based bread is perfect for pairing with ćevapi.
Course Bread
Cuisine Balkan
Keyword Balkan, bread, Eastern Europe, flatbread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 Lepinje


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) lukewarm water 105-115˚F (40-46˚C)
  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) lukewarm milk 105-115˚F (40-46˚C)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) sunflower or vegetable oil


  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water. Stir briefly to combine, then allow to rest at room temperature until frothy, 5-10 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Slowly mix in the frothy yeast with water, milk, and oil to bring together a dough. If too wet, add a little more flour until just soft enough to handle (do not add too much). If too dry, add a little more water at a time.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until soft and elastic. Place in a bowl, cover, and allow to rest at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, then cover and allow to rest again for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 480˚F (250˚C). Grease 2 baking sheets lightly with oil.
  • On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball, seam side down. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • Using your hands, press each ball down into a flattened round disc. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and cover. Allow to rest for another 15 minutes.
  • Using the spine (dull side) of a knife, press lines across the disc-shaped dough to form a square or diamond pattern on top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 8-12 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Immediately sprinkle the tops with water and wrap in a towel. This will keep the bread soft.
  • The Lepinje are best the day they are baked, but will last a couple of days at room temperature in an airtight container (after cooling).