A Magnificent Flatbread

“I put the kitch into kitchen.” Nigella Lawson

People have been making flat breads for well over 6,000 years. The oldest baker’s oven in the world
was known in Babylon in 4000 B.C. Flat bread was baked in hot ashes or on heated stone slabs in the old
kingdom of Egypt as long ago as 2500 B.C. The theory behind these breads was that when eaten with a beverage, the bread would expand in the stomach, making the consumer feel full. Bread-making skills, including fermentation, passed from the Egyptians to the Greeks and Romans. Bread was important in Roman culture and religion, therefore, large commercial bakeries were developed in the second century B.C. to meet the demands of increasing bread consumption. According to Scandinavian tradition, flat breads were made in large batches and sometimes formed into flat rounds with holes in the center. The breads were then strung together and stored hanging. This ensured a “bread” product through lean months and tough weather.

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“There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.” E.A. Bucchianeri

Ingredient
500 g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
25 g fresh yeast
2 tbsp soured cream
2 tbsp sunflower oil
100 ml cold water
100 ml yogurt
200 ml beer
Walnut oil, for drizzling
Salt

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Preparation method
Place the flour, salt, yeast, oil, beer, yoghurt, soured cream and water into a large bowl. Gently stir with hand or a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, then let it rest for 20 minutes. Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the center, turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes. Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for ten minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size, if possible for 5-6 hours. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two portions. Flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Drizzle the loaves with oil, sprinkle with fine sea salt then bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. When cooked, drizzle with a little more oil and serve hot or warm.

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“Keep it simple, keep it tasty. Salt, pepper and garlic. Shallot another day, lemon grass for nextweek. Nutmeg and cinnamon every now and then.” Riana Ambarsari

10 thoughts on “A Magnificent Flatbread

  1. Great history lesson, for some reason I was really surprised by “large commercial bakeries were developed in the second century B.C. to meet the demands of increasing bread consumption”. Knowing this, I am now positive I would live very happy back in those days 🙂

  2. I’m afraid of yeast. But I am tempted to give your flatbread a go. If it is successful, I will revisit your chicken stock bread. Good heavens, what an idea! I love your blog.

    • 🙂 Thank you very much for visiting and sorry for the delayed reply! I have a newborn, so I can hardly steel time to do my own things! Let me know how did the flatbread go, I wish you the best of success! Love, Judit XXX

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