“She had never before eaten flatbread like this – baked on hot stoves, dimpled and crusty, it tasted sour and earthy and so delicious, she could have eaten an entire slab.”
Donia Bijan, ‘The Last Days of Café Leila’
These are delicious served with Chicken Shawama. Once you have taken the chicken and vegetables off the skewers, your guests will love stuffing the flatbreads with them.
495g (1lb) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting * 1 tsp salt * 45g (1½oz) caster sugar * 7g (½oz) fast action yeast * 30g (1oz) unsalted butter * 310ml (10 floz) tepid water * vegetable oil
Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the butter and three-quarters of the water and mix with your fingers. Continue to add the rest of the water a little at a time until you have picked up the flour from the sides of the bowl. Careful. You want a soft, not soggy dough, so you may not have to add all the water.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, whilst you work through the wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin. Put it into a lightly oiled, large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least double in size for up to 3 hours. Keep in a warm, dry place such as an airing cupboard.
Knock back the dough mix, by folding the dough to release the air until it is smooth. Divide the dough into 12 smooth balls weighing 60g each. Place them on a dusted work surface and cover with a tea towel.
You will find it easier to make the wraps in batches, 4 at a time. Take the first batch of balls and roll flat, to 20cm diameter with a rolling pin. Heat a large frying-pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. When hot and starting to smoke, fry the flatbread for 2 minutes on one side, flip over and fry for 1 minute on the other. Repeat with the other flatbreads, adding oil to the pan as required and stacking them on top of each other. Allow to cool in the stack, which makes them soft, then wrap in cling film. Use within 24 hours.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING, a selection of easy recipes for the barbecue or when entertaining your guests at a garden party.