Monday, 23 March 2009

Hummus and Flatbreads

If you are ready and willing, I’d like to let you in on a little secret.

Ready? Good

Willing? Excellent.

Here we go: you never need to buy another flatbread, pita bread, wrap, tortilla or naan bread ever again.

They are so easy to make, so very tasty, so incredibly fast and so extraordinarily cheap that it makes almost no sense to buy them.

Before I started keeping a ‘mother dough’ in the fridge, I used to make flatbreads with a simple flour and water dough, flavoured with a little salt and olive oil (about 250g of bread flour, 150ml of warm water and seasoning to taste).

Within five minutes it was possible to have a steaming pile of hot, blistered flatbreads ready to be torn apart by hungry guests and dipped into garlicky hummus or wrapped round a spicy lamb kofta.

Now all I do is tear a small handful of dough from the bubbling mass in the fridge, incorporate a little extra flour to make a workable dough, roll extra thinly and cook for 30 seconds on each side in a hot, dry, frying pan.

For pita breads, after the dough has been rolled, fold it over on itself once, then once again to trap a layer of air in the dough. Roll it out and cook as above. It should puff up like a little pillow as steam gets trapped inside the bread. Perfect for slicing open and stuffing with falafel, salad and tzaiki .

We cook these a lot. Brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, they are an ideal snack and near impossible not to eat whilst they are still too hot.

Dipped in hummus, too, they are wonderful. Blitz a tin of chickpeas, some of the reserved water, two cloves of garlic, olive oil and seasoning in a food processor and you have an insta-lunch.

I tend to sprinkle a little smoked paprika over the top as well, just to add a slight warmth and depth of flavour. Just delicious.

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Anonymous said...

those photographs are absolutely gorgeous! I'm starving!

Just Cook It said...

Thanks SCF. I'm getting hungry again too.

Anonymous said...

Well, now I'm inspired. I want to make my own pita!

Anonymous said...

holy crap, I just adore these photos! What are you doing different?

Alicia Foodycat said...

Hmmm - they look a lot better than the only time I tried to make pita!

Hopie said...

I like paprika on hummus too. I also put in lemon juice and a pinch of cumin to season.

Good to know pita is so easy to make!

Anonymous said...

They look amazing. I love that puffed up shot in the pan. The idea of keeping the 'mother dough' ready is great. I need to get organised and make me some mother dough.

Sam said...

I've made pita once before but it wasn't very successful, probably because I didn't fold the dough.

Yours look really good, I'll use your recipe next time!

SteamyKitchen said...

Beautiful! just found you...I'm a good friend of Matt Wright.

Anonymous said...

Is the recipe "about 250g of bread flour, 150ml of warm water and seasoning to taste" or was that your old recipe? I'm confused, but it sounds great and I'd like to make it. Thanks in advance for any clarification.


Maggie said...

Yum! These look great! I've never made them myself, ut now I want to!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Your flatbreads sound really good and you have made it sound so easy!

Cynthia said...


Just Cook It said...

Helen - Do it, I don't think I'll be without ever again.

Sam - Thanks, give it a go, I look forward to seeing how you get on

Steamykitchen - thank you very much, I love your blog, and Matt's!

Hi Lesli - that is the old recipe I used, now I just use small handfuls of dough that sits in the fridge. I will be posting about this soon but the old recipe is almost as good and well worth trying if only because it is so quick and easy to do.

Maggie - Thank you! You should give it a go. Let me know how you get on.

Holler - It doesn't just sound easy, it is easy! I promise

Thank you very much Cynthia

Just Cook It said...

lisaiscooking - Thank you, you should give it a go, it is unbelievably easy.

Thanks Matt - I sent you an email about this.

Foodycat - Try the folding trick, it should make all the difference, a little like making puff pastry

Hopie - Yes, lemon juice is an essential (I didn't have any when I made this!)

bee said...

lovely, evocative pictures.

Unknown said...

Oooh– I want a bubbling mass of dough of my own to keep on hand! Please– how does one get one of those?

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