Malawach is flakey with crispy layers and cooked in a pan to golden brown with oil, butter, or margarine. It is a beloved morning staple in Israel and typically served with hard boiled egg, grated tomato, and zhoug. Our Shabazi is inspired by zhoug so go ahead and grate some fresh tomato and stir in the Shabazi to eat along with your crispy, flakey, flatbread. I used to have Malawach (and Jachnoon and Chamin) as part of a brunch table every weekend in spring and summer al fresco, weather permitting. Try adding some finishing touches with a sprinkling of your favorite blend before it goes into the pan.
Homemade Malawach (Crispy Flakey Yemenite Flatbread)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (750g)
2 tsp fine sea salt (30g)
- 2 tsp baking powder (8g)
2 cups boiling water (450g)
- ½ cup of vegetable oil, butter, or margarine
Preserved lemons folded into the second step of the rolling and coiling.
A healthy dusting of Massalis on both sides before placing into the pan to cook.
Some Great Finishing Touches:
- In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, salt, powder, and boiling water and mix on low speed to form a dough ball, scraping down the sides as needed. The dough should come away from the sides when ready.
- Portion the dough into 8 smooth balls (about 135g each) and leave to rest on a generously oiled sheet tray (coating the balls with oil), covered to prevent drying out.
- Leave the dough to rest at room temperature for 1 hour or until the dough has fully relaxed.
- Roll a ball of dough out into a paper thin (should be see-through) rectangle about 8”x12”.
- Brush or spread 1 tablespoon of oil (or your choice of the above) and roll the dough up into a long rope.
- Coil the rope around itself to make a snail and leave it to rest for about 1 hour again, covered to prevent drying.
- Repeat the rolling out, oiling, and coiling steps to make 8 snails from the balls of dough.
- When rested, roll each snail out as flat as you can again and repeat the steps of brushing/spreading a tablespoon of oil again and rolling the rope and snail. Leave the snails to rest for another hour.
- To cook the dough:
- Heat an 8” nonstick pan to medium high heat with a tablespoon of oil and roll each snail into an 8” or 9” disk.
- If you’re going to use a blend, dust on your favorite here on the way to the pan.
- Lay the dough into the pan and give it a little swirl to distribute the oil under the dough.
- Cook on low/medium heat covered with a lid until golden brown on both sides, turning as needed.
- Enjoy warm!
Try our Chamin recipe here.
The dough can be made and kept frozen a few different ways to bring fresh homemade malawach into your life. You can roll the dough to the disks stage and freeze them on pieces of parchment paper and cook them from frozen. You can also cook them and freeze them (or store refrigerated) and heat in the toaster oven for a quick and crispy result. To get the crispy layers, there are some steps and some down time in between so plan yourself a leisurely weekend afternoon with some rolling and some breaks. The resulting layered bread is going to be worth it.
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