Lavash

Lavash

Thin flatbread

By
From
Saraban
Makes
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

Lavash, paper-thin sheets of flatbread, is eaten by everyone, every day at virtually every meal in Iran – in fact lavash is often used instead of cutlery for scooping up food. It is also used to wrap around kebabs or sandwich fillings – the ubiquitous favourite being fresh herbs and soft white cheese for a quick and easy snack.

Taftoon is a slightly thicker variation of lavash that you can make from the same dough. Both styles of bread keep well if wrapped in a damp cloth and refrigerated. Even better, pieces can be wrapped in plastic, stored in the freezer and thawed in no time when required. Although lavash and taftoon stiffen up fairly quickly, they are easily made pliable again if sprinkled with a little water and heated briefly in a warm oven.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons dried yeast
550ml warm water
850g strong white flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
fine polenta, for dusting

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in 50 ml of the warm water and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and make a well in the centre. Stir the yeast mixture into the remaining water, then gradually work into the flour with your hands. Knead on a slow speed for 10–15 minutes until very smooth and shiny. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Knock back the dough, then leave to prove for a further 20 minutes. Halfway through the proving time, put a large, heavy baking tray into the oven for 10 minutes or until very hot.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knock back. Divide into 6 portions and shape into oval balls. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it out as thinly as you can into a rectangular sheet. Scatter a little polenta over the base of the hot baking tray and quickly transfer the sheet of dough, stretching it a little more, if you can.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, or until a pale golden brown. Wrap in a clean tea towel and leave to cool. The bread might be crisp as it comes out of the oven, but will soften as it cools.
  6. While the bread is baking, prepare the next piece of dough. Continue with the remaining balls of dough. Eat warm or cold. Once cold, wrap in a damp tea towel and refrigerate, or wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature and reheat in a warm oven
Tags:
Saraban
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Iran
Iranian
Middle Eastern
Persian
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