Lavash

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I’ve just made this crisp flatbread (of Armenian origin) for the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last – it’s so easy and the results are the perfect crackers to have in the pantry for when guests pop over – lavash with a hunk of cheese and maybe some fruit paste: perfectly simple.

I’ve adapted Kiwi-in-London chef Anna Hansen’s lavash recipe, from her excellent cookbook The Modern Pantry. She uses cooked quinoa in hers, but as I was out of white quinoa I just omitted it, plus I halved the recipe as I didn’t want to make a huge batch. So this lavash is flour-only – you could introduce other things such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, as well as adapting the flavourings by using different seeds.

Sift 1 cup strong flour into a bowl and mix in 1 tsp poppy seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp sugar. Whisk together 25g melted butter and 150ml milk and mix into the flour with a wooden spoon. The resulting dough will be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Coat your palms with olive oil, take a handful (you’ll probably need to cook this in two batches, or use two trays) of the dough and flatten out with your hands – it’s easiest to do this on a silicone baking mat, if you have one. If not, then straight onto a non-stick baking tray or on a baking paper-lined tray. Drizzle on a bit more olive oil and roll out the dough as thin as you can get it without tearing – I found a drinking glass best for this, or a silicone roller would be good if you have one. You want the dough about 1-2mm thick at the most. Don’t worry if it does tear, you can just patch it up by rolling more dough into the tear; this dough seems very compliant. When you’ve rolled it out nice and thin, sprinkle over some sumac, a bit of flaky sea salt and drizzle over a bit more olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or so until deep golden all over. Let it cool first before breaking into pieces. Alternatively you could slice the dough into pieces prior to baking – I’ll try this next time and let you know if it affects the cooking time.

Note:

I tried slicing the lavash into rectangles before baking, and while it doesn’t affect the cooking time, it does cause the pieces to become a bit thicker round the edges as it cooked. My prefrence is for a really thin, crispy lavash, so I’ll just stick with baking the sheet whole then breaking into pieces. Rustic.

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