Today we'll learn a traditional recipe from Armenia, the lavash bread, a delicious unleavened, flat bread, ideal to serve with meat and vegetables, or as an appetizer or snack! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English) http://itunes.apple.com/app/giallozafferano-recipes/id384387249?mt=8
Today we'll learn a traditional recipe from Armenia: a particular unleavened flat bread called lavash. The dough is made from just a few ingredients, it's rolled out thinly, sometimes sprinkled with sesame or poppy seeds, and baked for a few minutes... the end result is a delicious and fragrant bread, ideal to serve with meat and vegetables, or as an appetizer or snack! Let's make it together!
Ingredients for 3 baking trays
(for 3 baking trays)
• 1 ½ cups (200 g) of bread flour
• ¼ tbsp (5 g) of salt
• ½ cup (110 ml) of water
• ¼ cup (60 g) of extra virgin olive oil For sprinkling
• poppy seeds, to taste
• sesame seeds, to taste
To prepare the Armenian bread, begin by sifting the flour into a bowl. We're using bread flour because it's rich in gluten; if you can't find bread flour, go to the supermarket and look for flour with at least 11% protein content, check the nutritional label on the package... that's because a high-gluten flour, meaning rich in proteins, makes the dough more elastic. After sifting the flour, dissolve the salt in the water... then pour both the water and the oil into the bowl. Now knead briefly, just to blend... until it forms a smooth dough. That's it... now cover with cling film and let it rest at room temperature for at least half an hour.
Here we are, after half an hour it's time to fold the dough. This type of dough should not be overworked and the resting time, in between the folds, facilitate the hydration process and help the gluten strands to stretch, that stick together as the dough is kneaded. Now lift up one edge and fold it towards the centre, stretch and fold, and repeat 8 times. Take the dough, turn it over... cover with cling film and allow to rest for another half an hour.
After the second half hour, repeat the folding process, just like before: so, lift up one edge and fold it towards the centre, for 8 times... turn the dough over... cover with cling film and let it rest for half an hour, for the last time.
The dough is ready for shaping, but before that, preheat a static oven to 430°F (220°C) along with the baking tray, so that they will be nice and hot when it's time to bake. Now take the dough and divide into 3 equal portions, about 4,2 oz (120 g) each. You can use a scale to do this.. meanwhile return the remaining dough to the bowl... and cover with cling film, so that it remains moist. Take the piece of dough, roll it out with a rolling pin until evenly thick... then place it on the back of your hands and gently stretch it out... into a thin rectangle as large as the baking tray; of course, we'll lay it on a piece of parchment paper the same size. So, pull your hands apart slowly, with no rush. As you can see the dough is pretty elastic... use the back of your hands because it's less likely to tear this way, as it would using your fingers. This is not the traditional way of making lavash, of course... Armenian women are so skilled that they can shape it in a few seconds, twirling it like a pizza maker, more or less. Besides, the lavash is traditionally baked in underground cylindrical ovens, in which it is literally slapped on the hot walls and cooked in this way. Perhaps use your fingers to stretch the edges, then place it on the back of your hands to stretch it out further... when it's thin enough, lay the rectangle on a piece of parchment paper, which has been previously cut out ... and press with your fingers to flatten it further. If the dough tears while handling it, don't worry, just pinch the sides of the hole together and go on. Here we are, the Armenian bread is ready to bake, in a preheated static oven at 430°F (220°C), as we said before, for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough. Now take the hot baking tray with a pot holder... and slide the parchment paper with the bread onto it. When you take the bread out of the oven, transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool, without the parchment paper, so that it gets crispy, meanwhile roll out the other 2 pieces of dough in the same way, but this time sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
And here's our beautiful lavash bread! Just out of the oven, the bread is soft, but once cooled it becomes crunchy, so much so that it's also called cracker bread. You can use it as normal bread or serve as part of a buffet, cut into rectangles, for example, and topped with sliced red onion, as you can see on my right side. See you next videorecipe!