Another flatbread recipe from Baking with Julia - so easy, and very good! It's billed in the cookbook as 'Middle Eastern street food". The recipe is a basic white bread, with a little bit of mahleb for seasoning. Mahleb is a spice made from the ground stones of a cherry. Sadly, I couldn't find it in my nearby stores (and with no time to spare, no time to search high and low), so based on a suggestion I found on the web, I substituted a combination of ground fennel seed and cardamom. It's only a quarter teaspoon, but I think it helped the flavor.
First, make a sponge with yeast, sugar, flour and water, which you allow to rise briefly:
|After rising - the spoon is diappearing...|
Next, you mix in salt, seasoning (in my case, mahleb substitute) and then the rest of the flour, making a rather soft dough, which you knead for 10 minutes. Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, and then cut it into 32 pieces, roll each piece out into a long "snake", and then form rings on the oiled baking sheets. These rise for 30 minutes, covered in plastic wrap. It's hard to tell from the photo, but these are just about 3 inches across.
I should have oiled the plastic wrap - this was a little sticky, and I lost some "rise" when I pulled the stuck wrap off the rolls.
Coat with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seets and bake. They are kind of like mini bagels, although not as dense as that (no boiling step).
These were very good warm, and kept well - I reheated them, uncovered, in the oven the next day, and the surfaces got crisp, which was very good. I would definitely consider making this one again - I thought the recipe's comparison to soft pretzels was true (although they are sprinkled with seeds instead of salt!)