Monday, July 27, 2009

Laffa and Pita bread recipes

I've been enthusiastically baking laffa bread the last few Fridays. I'd been looking for a recipe for a long, LONG time. Since our move to the Midwest, we simply haven't had any, and there is none to be found within at least 400 or 500 miles. In any direction. I found this recipe and we all really love it. In truth, it's a simple pita recipe. The laffa is just made a bit differently than the pita. If you know of a better recipe than this, PLEASE leave for me in the comments or email me! Thanks!

7 cups bread flour
one package dry yeast
3 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar (a bit more may be added if desired)
1 teaspoon salt (again, a bit more may be added for a saltier bread, but don't overdo it!)
4 tablespoons olive oil (I use the mild kind, but any will do).

Mix the yeast with the flour. Add water, sugar, salt and olive oil and knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth, shiny, and slightly sticky. Add flour if needed (too wet) or water (if too dry).

Transfer dough to a large greased (I use olive oil) bowl (in truth, I just knead the dough in a giant bowl to begin with and when I'm done, I take out the dough, grease the giant bowl, and return the dough to the bowl). Generously rub top and sides with olive oil. Allow dough to rise to double its size.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (you may get one or two more, and that's fine). Roll each piece into a ball, place on a floured surface, cover with a damp towel (I just wet and use a paper towel) and allow to rest for ten minutes. Roll out each piece into a 12-14 inch round.

Now, there are two ways of baking:

Method 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. place rounds on a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper) and bake for about ten minutes.

Method 2 (the one I use simply because I haven't tried Method 1 yet):

This is easiest of you have an electric burner.

Turn burner on to a medium high heat. place a large pan or wok BOTTOMS UP over the burner and bake the laffa on the bottom of the pan (I happen to have a new pan I never used, so this worked well for me). Bake until bubbles form and bottom of the laffa begins to develop some brown spots. Flip and bake other side. Make sure the laffa is COMPLETELY flat, otherwise you'll have unbaked edges. I use a spatula to flatten the bread when I turn it over.

Recently, I started using an 11"x11" stovetop griddle (two, actually, over the large burners). I use a slightly lower heat. This method takes far less time and I think they come out even better than baking them on an upside-down pan.

Remove from over or pan (depending on what method you use) and place inside a towel (any kitchen towel will do. Let cool for about a minute, and then immediately transfer into a plastic bag and close it up! The moisture from the heat is what will make the laffa very pliable, moist, and yummy. Keep adding laffas to the bag.

Enjoy warm. You may freeze these. When you reheat, reheat IN the plastic bag so they stay moist.

Hope you have as much fun making these as I do!

P.S. To make these into pitas:

Follow steps UP to the part where you divide the dough:

Divide dough into TWENTY equal parts, roll into balls, place on floured surface, and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Roll out each ball into a 10-12 inch round and about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes, just until the pitas swell up and begin to show golden spots. Avoid over-baking if you don't want to end up with giant pita chips.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Cover pitas with a kitchen towel for a few minutes to keep them soft. Enjoy!


Selena said...

We froze the leftover ones from Sunday, and Daniel ate them yesterday, and they were delish...Thanks!

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

My pleasure! :)

Strongwarrior said...

Thanks - very helpful!

Michael said...

Great recipe. Wanted to ask a few questions, as a fellow huge laffa fan.
What e-mail can I reach you? Thanks.