Week Nine: Flatbreads
Note: I am out of the country this week. I did actually make all these breads, and tried to make the effort to write posts for them all, but I didn’t quite make it. I hope this will suffice until I get back on Monday!
Lavash is a Persian bread, generally made with only flour, water, and salt, rolled thin, and brushed with butter or oil. Its composition has changed little in the centuries that it has been made. It can vary between crisp and chewy, rather like naan; and, like naan, is traditionally cooked on the walls of a tandoor oven. It is the most popular type of bread in Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Makes 3 large flatbreads
14 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups), plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water, plus extra if needed
1 whole egg
5 tablespoons melted cooled butter, divided
1. Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, egg, and 2 tablespoon butter. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together, adding additional water or flour if needed. Knead the dough in the bowl 5 to 6 times. Turn the dough out onto the counter, divide into thirds, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375º F.
3. Lightly brush the back of a half sheet pan with some of the remaining butter. Place the sheet pan, upside down, on a surface that will prevent sliding. Working with one ball at a time, place the dough ball onto the sheet pan and roll the dough out to an even 1/8 inch thickness. Gently stretch the edges of the dough so they fall slightly below the edge of the pan and hold the dough in place. Lightly brush the dough with butter, place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the lavash to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, on a cooled pan. Break each sheet into shapes and sizes as desired. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
1. This bread cooked up very crisp, rather like a cracker, though the center was still a little soft when I tore it into pieces. You can cook it at a lower temperature, or roll it out thicker, for a more bread-y bread.