Friday, August 9, 2013

barbecued flatbreads

If you’ve got a spanking hot oven and an array of just about any food that can be scooped, spread, grabbed or rolled, then you’re going to need a stack of these coming out hot and fresh. The whole notion of fresh bread straight from the oven is the very same the world over, in any language, associated with every food type. Breaking the stuff is as important as eating is, and such a satisfying task to master in the kitchen. These breads are perfect with anything grilled, with or without the spicy glaze

Barbecued flatbreads

Serves 6

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
250g strong white bread flour
5g easy-blend yeast
10g salt
1 tblsp good-quality olive oil (plus extra for glazing; optional)
325ml hot water or an equal mixture of hot water and natural yogurt

For the glaze
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp coriander seeds
20g unsalted butter
2 tblsp olive oil
A good pinch of smoked paprika

If you want to make a glaze for your flatbreads, start with that; otherwise, skip this and go straight to the next paragraph. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat, and when hot toast the cumin and coriander seeds for a minute or so until they release their fragrance. Grind with a pestle and mortar. Melt the butter, whisk in the olive oil, the ground cumin and coriander, and the paprika. Brush the glaze over the breads just before putting them on the grill, or do so just after they come off the grill - both approaches work well.

To make the flatbreads, mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Tip the water (or the yogurt/water mix) into this well, pour in the olive oil, and mix together. Knead the dough until smooth, silky and elastic, then brush it with oil, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. Deflate the dough, then leave to rise a second time, again until almost doubled in size.

Tar off pieces of dough the size of small lemons. Using plenty of flour on both your hands and the work surface, shape them into rounds and roll out to 3-4mm thick. Leave each one to rest for five minutes or so.

Brush the flatbreads with the seasoned butter glaze or olive oil (both optional), then cook over a hot barbecue for four to five minutes, turning once, until puffed up and just beginning to char. Serve right away, no delay, no nonsense.

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