Druze Mountain Bread

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This bread is like a larger pocket-less pita bread.  It is traditionally made by the Druze on a hemispherical pan placed upside down over a propane burner.  A wok turned upside down over a gas burner would be similar.  Since I have an electric stove, I set a baking steel over two of the burners to form a griddle.  Another way to cook it is in a large skillet.  Divide the bread dough into pieces appropriately sized for the cooking surface – 8 if you have a big surface, 10-12 if a smaller surface.  This recipe is adapted from Israeli Soul by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook and was used to wrap a shawarma sandwich and for breakfast with humus and a feta-ajvar mixture.

3 cups (13 oz.) bread flour

1 cup (4.33 oz.) all-purpose flour

1 tsp. yeast

1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 Tbs. olive oil (plus more for coating the rising dough)

1-1/2 cups warm water

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flours, yeast, and salt, and then mix in the olive oil and warm water.  Using the dough hook or paddle, mix the dough 4-5 minutes until it is a smooth, but sticky, dough.   Coat the dough with a little olive oil and but it into a doubling container for 45-60 minutes, until doubled.

Take the risen dough, and on a floured work surface, cut the dough into 8 even pieces.  Cover and allow to rest 30 minutes.

Heat the griddle or skillet until hot.

On a floured surface, form each piece of dough into 6-inch round, and then roll until about the size of a large dinner plate.  It will be very thin and will take some practice to handle well.  Carefully put it on the griddle and cook until blistered on one side.  Flip it over to cook the other side.  The bread is done when cooked through but still pliable.  Do not overcook it since it is intended to be wrapped around food or torn into bite-sized pieces.  Put each cooked dough on a plate with a towel to keep it warm.  Repeat with the other doughs, cleaning the griddle of any flour, etc. between breads.  Serve warm.

A good two person team is one handling the rolling out of the dough and the other handling the cooking.

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