Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baked Puffed Flatbread

Makes eight 6- to 7-inch breads. 

Make sure you let the pieces of dough rest after forming them into balls and again after rolling them into 4-inch circles; otherwise, they will shrink back and not hold their shape.
  • 1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup water (warm -- 110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil , plus extra for brushing
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt , plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour , sieved (before measuring) to remove coarse flakes of bran
  • 2 cups bread flour , plus additional as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
 1. In either the workbowl of a food processor fitted with stainless steel blade or, if working by hand, a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Add oil, sugar, and yogurt and pulse to mix, about four 1-second bursts, or, if working by hand, mix with wooden spoon until well combined. Add salt, sieved whole wheat flour, and 2 cups bread flour; process until smooth, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, or, if working by hand, mix with wooden spoon until flour is incorporated, about 3 minutes. Process dough (adding more flour as necessary until dough just pulls completely away from sides of bowl) until soft and satiny, about 30 seconds, or, if working by hand, turn dough out of mixing bowl onto very lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes. Squeeze dough gently with full hand; if dough is sticky, sprinkle with flour and knead just to combine. Place dough in medium bowl or straight-sided plastic container, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm, draft-free spot until dough doubles in size, 30 to 45 minutes. (At this point, dough can be punched down, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated up to 2 days.)

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and, if it is sticky, sprinkle very lightly with flour. Following illustrations 1 through 4 below, cut, shape, and roll dough. If using sesame seeds, brush tops of circles lightly with water, sprinkle each circle with 3/4 teaspoon seeds, and gently roll over with rolling pin once or twice so seeds adhere to dough.

3. About 30 minutes prior to cooking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, line rack with unglazed baking tiles, pizza stone, or preheated baking sheet and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bake dough rounds on preheated tiles or pizza stone until bread is puffed and golden brown on bottom, 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Transfer breads to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; wrap in clean kitchen towels and serve warm or at room temperature.

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