After the month long A – Z Journey Through The Cuisines, it is time for the next usual Blogging Marathon in which we blog three days a week on a selected theme. For the first week, I selected the theme European cuisine. Valli gave us a link for European Cuisine Wiki page, in which we can select a country of our choice. European cuisine is further divided into five categories. They are Central, Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern European cuisine. The list for each category is large. After a lot of reading I settled on Armenia which falls under Eastern European Cuisine. So for the next three days, you will see dishes from Armenia. Armenia, also known as The Republic of Armenia is bordered by Turkey, Iran, Georgia and Azerbajian and its cuisine has strong ties with all these cuisines. For the first day, I made a simple yet delicious bread from Armenia. There are so many debates going on whether this is an Armenian bread or Iranian bread. Whatever the country of origin may be, this bread is so tasty and makes a nice snack.
This bread can be made soft and used with meat, or it can be baked until crisp and can be served as snack. I baked it crisp and we had a wonderful time munching on the crackers. The secret of getting nice crispy crackers is in rolling the dough very thin. Usually the dough is stretched between hands, just like pizza. I tried it but couldn’t get it. So I used my rolling pin to make it very thin. If you try sticking the sesame seeds by pressing them with your hand, then they will fall off the bread once it is baked. So after sprinkling the seeds, roll it with the pin to embed the seeds. The dough is not kneaded too much. But it is allowed to rest for nearly 1 1/2 hours which makes it very soft. Thrice in between, the dough is folded eight times into the centre. Every 1/2 hour resting time gives softness to the dough and finally after 1 1/2 hours, it is so stretchy that you can use your hands to stretch the dough without tearing it. Bread flour is the best choice, but as I don’t have it, I used some wheat gluten. But it is just optional. If you don’t have it, just skip it. And for baking the time may differ from oven to oven. If you want a slightly soft bread then bake it for 5-7 minutes, but if you like it very crispy, then let it bake for 10-13 minutes. My daughter loved the brownish bread rather than the white ones.
Recipe Source: Yellow Saffron
Flour – 1 1/2 cups
Vital Wheat Gluten – 1 tsp
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Water – 1/2 cup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/4 cup
White Sesame Seeds For Topping
In a bowl, mix together flour, salt, and vital wheat gluten.
Add water and extra virgin olive oil and mix until the dough is just combined.
Cover with a wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
Now pinch some dough on the side and bring it to the centre. Like wise bring the sides of the dough to the centre and flip it inside the bowl. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
Repeat this step twice more and at the end your dough will be very soft and stretchy.
Divide it into three portions.
Keep two portions covered while working on one.
Preheat oven to 220°C along with the baking tray.
Roll the dough into a thin rectangle to fit the tray.
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and roll again to embed them into the bread.
Transfer it to a baking paper cut to the size of the tray.
Now place the paper in the tray and bake for 5-13 minutes depending upon the end result you need.
Immediately transfer the bread to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
Work on the other two portions.
Once the bread is cool, break it up into pieces and store in an airtight jar.
Here is a link to buy Vital wheat gluten online.