Lavash

This is sort of a response to the diabetes thing – how to cut down on the volume of bread without cutting down on bread. Gives me an excuse to look again at flatbreads and crackers:
lavash 005 smallWhen I’ve needed lavash previously I’ve just toasted split pita breads – never seen them custom made before. But these are Whole Wheat Lavash Crackers with Sesame Seed, to give them their full title, and they come from the best bread book I’ve bought for years – The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodrigues.

It might surprise you that I say this when there isn’t a single sourdough formula in the book. But she implies that sourdough is too advanced for a lot of bakers so, where the bakery would have used a starter, she has substituted pate fermentee and a small amount of yeast and suggested that if you do want sourdough to use the equivalent weight of starter.

The Hot Bread Kitchen is a bakery in New York set up to teach immigrant women commercial baking, to improve their English if necessary and to support them moving on to set up their own businesses if that’s what they want. The book covers breads from around the world but unlike a lot of books that seem to be saying “we’d better include ciabatta and something French” it reflects the baking traditions of the women who pass through the bakery. So there’s North African breads, Bangladeshi, Jewish, Mexican, etc. Go and buy it.

This lavash uses an unusual technique in that the rolled out dough is draped over the underside of a rimmed baking sheet and baked for five minutes before being trimmed and cut into rectangles. It’s then covered with a second baking sheet and baked for 35 minutes at a low temperature. They came out perfect – thin, lightly browned and crisp.
lavash 003 small

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