March 8, 2010

My New Favorite Thing!

Seriously, who doesn't like going to a middle eastern restaurant and dipping hot flat breads into fresh hummus? Or wrapping up some savory meats in a soft, spongy piece of bread?

Recently we've restricted our budget to only eating at home. I hope it doesn't have to last forever since eating out is a great joy of mine. However a few positive things have come as a result that I did not expect:

1) I look forward to eating out less in the future. Yes, I said it. I'm looking forward to being more intentional and strategic about where I eat out. I want to try local ethnic restaurants to inspire me and meet new people. I don't want to eat out what I can make at home. I want to challenge myself to try other flavors.

2) Eating in for 40 days has forced me to make the things I crave. Before if I was craving hummus and flat bread, I would head out and order a mezza platter.

This all leads to me making a SUPER easy flat bread at home that saves for up to 4 days or can be frozen.

Homemade Flat Bread
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • More water as needed

Add yeast and sugar to warm water and set aside. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook add flour and salt, whisk together. When the yeasty water is frothy (about 3-5 minutes), add to the flour and turn to speed 2 or 4. Continue to add a little more water until the dough has pulled away from the sides. If it's too sticky add more flour. Once the dough is fully incorporated and looks soft, remove from mixer and place on floured surface. Kneed a few times to form a silky, elasticy ball. Place dough in a lightly oiled larger bowl and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel. It's best to make sure the dough was coated with oil on top too so a dry crust does not form. Let rise for 1-2 hours, punch down, form into a ball again and cover. Let rise for up to 3 hours longer.

Remove dough from bowl and kneed a few times. Portion dough into equally sized balls. The larger the ball the larger the flat bread. Somewhere between a golf ball and a racquetball. Let the balls rest for 10 minutes. Roll out until they are pretty thin.

Cook in a pan on medium high heat. Spray or brush both sides of the bread with a little bit of oil. When they are browned and bubbly they are ready to come off. Store on a plate with a clean kitchen towel to wrap them in.  Serve warm.
Store them in an ziplock bag up to four days. Heat on the stove top when ready to enjoy.

(PS - This is pretty much the same recipe I use for pizza dough or my pizza frita. It's very versatile.)

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