Saturday, 25 March 2017

Basil Flatbread with Sumac and Sesame Seeds

This flatbread is soft, and can easily be folded over and stuffed with meat and vegetables, as I did. It can also have pieces torn off and dipped into hummus, tzatziki, baba ghanoush, dukkah, olive oil.

I have some sumac that I bought to make a specific recipe and I decided that it was time to use it again. I wanted to add it to the dough, but wasn't sure what the outcome would be (that's an experiment for another day), so I combined it with sesame seeds, garlic and olive oil and brushed it onto the bread before warming and serving.

Start the dough by combining the following in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook:

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water

When the yeast begins to froth, add:

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup wholewheat flour

With the mixer running at a low speed, gradually add:

2 cups of flour

You are looking for a slightly sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hook.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and knead by hand for a couple of minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead briefly.

Divide into 6 pieces, and form each one into a ball.

Roll each ball of dough out to a thickness of about 1/4".

Lightly brush the top side with olive oil.

Heat a griddle pan until it is very hot.

Place one circle of dough onto the hot griddle pan, with the oiled side down.

Cook for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes.

Flip the bread and cook the second side for 1 - 2 minutes.

Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining 5 dough circles.

In a small dry pan, lightly toast:

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

Stir in:

1 teaspoon sumac
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Remove from the heat and stir in:

3 tablespoons olive oil

Turn the oven on to 350F, place the cooked flatbreads on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Brush each one with the oil and sesame seed mixture, and place into the oven to heat through. Serve.

I used the flatbreads as a wrap for chicken shawarma, spinach, roasted red pepper, hummus and Greek yoghurt.

  • The flatbreads can be cooked a day ahead of serving; keep well wrapped. They can also be frozen.
  • Use the bread as pizza crusts; folded in half, stuffed and grilled panini style.
  • The bread dough can be flavoured with different herbs; I had basil on hand. Spices such as garlic powder can be added, as can minced fresh garlic.
  • If you do not have a griddle pan, cook the bread on a barbecue or in a flat, heavy bottomed pan.
  • Sesame seeds are optional; I had some to use. If you have dukkah ( an Egyptian blend of nuts, seeds and spices that is often used as a dip, along with olive oil), use that instead.
  • Sumac is  made from a dried berry that is ground to give you a spice. It is lemony and tart, and is a bright red colour. I would use more next time as I felt that the flavour was still a bit too much in the background.
  • Honey can be used instead of sugar in the dough. 
  • Here is a link to the chicken shawarma recipe I used:

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