We purchased an Iranian flat(ish) bread recently that was so excellent I tried to reproduce it. What I managed to come up with – and this is a work in progress that has to be refined – was a perfect simulacrum of the original in all respects except that it was most decidedly not flat at all. When I get the method right I will add the recipe to the bread section of the journal, but for now, in case you fancy having a go, this is where we are:
First a picture:
You can tell this is supposed to be something extraordinary. The wrapper for the original described it thus:
“Quite unlike any other earthly experience. The tart richness of sheep’s milk cheese aged with a mysterious blend of dried herbs and spices, enveloped in a twist of delicately textured, handmade, all natural bread. Best bought in twos in case you succumb to the almost irresistible temptation to eat one on the way home”
6 cups white flour – I suspect that Canadian strong flour is too strong for this and hence the unwanted rise. Try to introduce a proportion of soft flour as well.
1 cup wholemeal flour
Yeast and water and salt
Dried mint and cumin plus a little olive oil. A small amount of cardamon would be nice (and culturally appropriate) as well if you have some.
Mix the dough in the usual way including a good dollop of olive oil and adjust the texture with water. Knead very thoroughly, a bit longer than usual, to get a smooth and elastic dough. The dough for this wants to be quite wet but not sticky.
Let it rise until at least double and ideally treble original volume.
Divide dough into three pieces and roll out to make a flat rectangle no more than half a centimetre thick.
Spoon feta cheese mixed with herbs and spices and a little olive oil onto the surface of the dough in a line and then fold the sides in to seal it all into a rectangular package. Allow to rise for half an hour.
Dampen the surface of the dough with brushed water and bake for 20 minutes at 400degF. It should only rise slightly but ours didn’t know that.
Cut and eat. Terrific with stews, soups and cheeses or just on its own. the spices suffuse the dough nicely and the salty feta cheese at the centre is a delight when you reach it.
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