Yoghurt & Spelt Flatbreads
— Guest post by Gregory Povey, @topfife.
Last week, I bought Jaq Jerusalem, the new book by Yotam Ottolenghi (and Sami Tamimi). It’s a love letter to Jerusalem, taking in Israeli and Arab dishes, and covering a lot of the influences from the Mediterranean — about 60-70% of which is vegetarian or vegetable-based.
We’ve been a fan of Middle Eastern and Jewish-heritage food for a long time. Mostly through a lot of obvious things - rice dishes, lamb (me), hummous, falafel, boregi, pickles, baklava - and their massive love of salt. Oh, the salt. It’s a bit tricky, as there is obviously a lot of food that falls so far outside the remit of ‘vegetarian’ as to not be approachable, but we’re trying. This week we’ve tried a few - imam bayildi, dukkah, and flatbreads.
The flatbreads present another tiny problem as Jaq is experimenting with a wheat-free diet. Most other flours don’t seem to have the strength of wheat, but spelt is working out well. It’s got a slightly earthier, wholemeal flavour to it, but it’s light enough to fill in for white wheat flour.
A look in Ottolenghi’s Plenty and a couple of tweaks, leads us to Yoghurt & Spelt Flatbreads.
- 500g spelt flour (probably wheat, if you like)
- 500g low-fat Greek yoghurt (TOTAL 2% from FAGE is the best greek yoghurt we’ve found in supermarkets)
- 1tsp olive oil
- 1tsp baking powder (a healthy 1 tsp)
- ½tsp salt
- Chopped coriander (optional)
Set aside the yoghurt in a bowl and mix in the olive oil. This will loosen the yoghurt up a little and provide a bit of lubricant when kneading.
Add the baking powder and salt to the flour and blend together. Scoop the yoghurt on top of the flour, before making a dough with your hands. This will get sticky. If it’s too dry, add some extra yoghurt until you’re happy with the texture.
Turn out onto your work surface (it doesn’t need to be floured, really) and work the dough. Now spend a good few minutes of kneading, it will be a proper heel-of-the-hand kneading job and your triceps will benefit. (see top image)
Before long, you’ll have a luxurious, stretchy dough with a smooth texture.
Wrap it up in cling film and stick it in the fridge for about an hour, or upto a few days. The longer you leave it, the more tangy yoghurt flavour you will have in your final bread.
When you want to make the flatbreads, make a long roll on a floured surface and cut it up into equal sections. Make a ball out of each section, then roll them to about about ½ inch thick - until they look like flatbreads - and put them to the side.
There are now two options of how to cook them:
1. Pan Fried.
This will give you a flatter, paratha-like flatbread with a crispier texture.
Heat up a pan and add some olive oil. Lay your flatdough into the pan and let it cook. When bubble start to appear, turn it over. Cook for ~90 seconds each side, or until you’re happy with the colour and satisfied that the dough is cooked.
This will give a lighter, puffed-up bread along the lines of a pitta.
Pre-heat the oven to about 200dC and place the flatbread dough on a floured tray mid-high in the oven. If you’ve got a pizza stone, use that. After about 5 minutes, your dough should be puffed up and proud like a morning cockerel. Turn the bread over and leave for another five minutes.
Take out, let it cool a tiny bit, then scoop up some tahini, olive oil & dukkah, or a load of tzatziki.