Thursday, May 29, 2014

What I Knead

I had such a crash on a bread maker that I use to be a vendor of mine – his arms pulsed as he pushed a slightly sticky mass of dough forward, over and then back. I always hated to interrupt his work for the manual manipulation of the dough was so sensual to me – I felt like a peeping tom catching a moment of an intimate dance. Our relationship never moved beyond stalker and victim. I slowly let go of any fantasy of waking up in the pre-dawn to find him working a loaf for me. I was left with an urgent sensation to knead.  

I own a standing mixer, and have never worked in a place without one, but I always insisted on working any bread I was making by hand. Kneading a dough mass, for me, is a rhythmic flow where you and the dough keep it going to efficiently incorporate the flour and liquid until smooth and soft – I say, keep going until a trickle of sweat runs down your spine to the base of your back. Yes, this is a workout, oh the rewards.

Whole Wheat Flatbread – yields 12

16-ounces plain yogurt

2-cups chickpea flour

3-1/2 to 4 cups whole-wheat flour
2-teaspoons salt

Combine the yogurt, chickpea flour, whole-wheat flour and salt together in order to create a dense, but moist, dough mass. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, and then rub with a bit of oil. Place in a bowl and cover, or into a plastic bag and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Cut the dough into 12 pieces, and form in a ball.

Flatten the ball of dough, and roll them out to about 1/8-inch thick rounds. Make sure to rotate the dough as you are rolling in order to prevent it from sticking to your work-surface. It is ideal not to flour the work-surface when rolling out the flat breads. Though if it is sticking to the work surface dust with chickpea flour.

Heat a cast iron skillet or flat top griddle over a high heat. Cook the flat breads for about 2-3minutes a side.

Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

No comments: