Monday, August 10, 2009

The Bread Project - Lahukh (Yemenite Flatbread)

The experiments in Israeli cuisine continue.

This Yemenite flatbread is very simple and surprisingly flavorful. I would definitely eat them on their own, but when used to scoop up something delicious (like the amazing lamb Albondigas that I made to go with it - post soon to follow), they are delicious.

The recipe comes from Janna Gur's The New Book of Israeli Food. I made a few alterations and it worked just fine. My notes are in parentheses.

(Makes about 20 pancake sized flatbreads)

3 1/2 cups flour
1 oz fresh yeast (I used a packet and a pinch of regular dry active yeast)
3 cups water (plus additional for soaking)
1 T salt
1/2 T sugar
3 slices white bread (I used 2 1/2 white French rolls)
Oil for frying (I used spray olive oil because you really only want a minimal amount of oil)

1. Put the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a deep bowl and mix with 3 cups of water to form a batter.

2. Soak the bread in water for about 5 minutes (I did about three), remove, squeeze off the excess water and mash in a blender. Add to the batter and mix well.

3. Cover the bowl, leave at room temperature for about two hours to allow the batter to rise to twice its size.

4. Heat a non-stick pan and oil it lightly. Wipe excess oil with a paper towel- no further oiling will be required during frying. (I used an electric skillet and olive oil spray. I resprayed a few times through the process. It worked great. Gur recommends cooling down the pan with cold water between batches if you're using a traditional frying pan.)

5. Ladle a portion of batter into the pan. Fry on medium heat until the top of the lahukh fills with bubbles and the bottom turns brown (it's like making a pancake, and they took about 5 minutes to cook once I found the right temperature. However, for the record they taste pretty good with a little gooeyness in the middle too...)

They were delicious and I will make again. Also they freeze really well, so don't be thrown off by the bounteous quantity that this recipe produces. The day after we made them, I defrosted a couple in the toaster oven and used them for tuna sandwiches. Yum indeed.

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