Tuesday, March 15, 2016


If you are looking for something epic (and beyond the standard pita bread) to pair with homemade hummus this is the bread for you.   

I love pita, but making it isn't always easy.  Pita bread can be finicky.  Trying to create enough steam in the oven to "puff" the bread up can be a downright frustrating task.  This flatbread on the other hand is incredibly easy.   Man'oushe is a traditional Lebanese breakfast snack.  If you are a fan of the savory breakfast, I can see how eating one of these warm from the oven would be an appealing way to start the day.   But in all honesty, I can't see how you couldn't incorporate one of these breads into almost every meal you have.  Stuffed with feta, tomatoes, and cucumbers and rolled like a burrito it could be a portable lunch.  At dinner use it to sop up whatever remains on your plate from a stewed meat dish.   It's a flavorful bread that works all the time.   

Recipe from David Lebovitz

Yields - Six flatbreads

Flatbread Dough

1 cup (250ml) tepid water (slightly warmer than room temperature)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

Za’atar Topping

1/4 cup (40g) za’atar
1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil

To make the dough, in a bowl of a stand mixer (if mixing by hand, use a large bowl), sprinkle the yeast over the water along with the sugar and let sit in a warm place until the yeast starts to bubble, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the olive oil, flour, and salt. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. If mixing by hand, stir with a wood spoon or spatula until it becomes too thick to stir, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough in the machine on medium-high speed, or by hand, until the dough forms a smooth ball, but is slightly sticky when you touch it with your finger. It’ll take about 5 minutes and will pull away from the sides of the mixer bowl. Cover the dough in the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

To make the flatbreads, preheat the oven to 500ºF/260ºC and move the oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Set a baking steel on the rack. (Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your baking steel or stone.) Otherwise, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the baking steel or stone for 45 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and divide the dough into six pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small oval, rolling it just until each starts to resist. When each one does, set it aside on the countertop and begin rolling another. Continue to roll each of the six pieces of dough into ovals, stopping when the dough starts stretching back on itself.

When ready to bake, take the first oval of dough and roll it out to its final size, adding a bit more flour if necessary to keep it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin, turning it over a few times to ensure it’s not sticking. Roll it until it’s about 12-inch long by 4- or 5-inches wide (30cm by 10- to 12cm).

Spread the oval with a layer of the za’atar mixture, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per flatbread leaving, not quite reaching the edge so there’s space for a crust. Don’t worry about any bare spots when smearing on the za’atar: it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Lift the finished flatbread with your hands, or slide a pizza peel dusted with flour underneath, and transfer the flatbread on the baking steel or stone. Continue rolling and topping the rest of the flatbreads, baking each until the crust is golden brown, about 7 minutes.

Remove the flatbreads from the oven when the crusts are golden brown and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serving and storage: The flatbreads are best when eaten warm or shortly after baking, preferably within a few hours. You can make the dough in step 2 and chill it, letting it come back to room temperature before letting it rise and rolling it out. I would not freeze these flatbreads.

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