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When it's warm or I'm feeling lazy the last thing I want to do is heat up my oven to make bread or do any laborious kneading. This no-knead flatbread is dead simple and ready in a hurry; I’ve even made it for breakfasts when I was sick of the usual waffle and pancake routine. The basic bread is made with Hawayej, a Yemenite curry traditionally used in soup. It's endlessly variable, and takes to your spice of choice like a blank canvas, see the variations for more fun ideas!
Sift the flour, salt, hawayej, and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle evenly with the water and oil and stir everything together to form a soft dough that is well incorporated.
If the dough is really wet and sticky, add a bit more flour. If it's crumbly and doesn't come together, add a bit more water. Do not knead or over mix or the bread will be tough instead of fluffy. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Cover the bottom of a skillet with a thin layer of oil and heat over medium heat. On a floured surface cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll them into balls, then roll them out with a pin or hand pat into rough circles about 1/4" thick.
Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned, adding oil as needed (maintain a thin layer in the pan to help cook the breads evenly). Transfer cooked breads to a rack with a paper towel underneath to drain and cool.
• Use 1 tablespoon of Iris N.9 in the dough, then top with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and shaved red onion. Or try thin slices of pastrami (store bought or homemade), sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.
• Tear a couple breads into pieces and fry in olive oil and za'atar to start a fattoush salad. I like mine with watermelon and sherry vinegar in addition to the usual tomato, cucumber, and gem lettuce.
• A sweeter version, substitute Mishmish N.33 for the Hawayej and reduce salt to 1/2 tsp, top with strained yogurt or labneh, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey and/or pomegranate syrup.
• Substitute 2 teaspoons of Coquelicot N.24 for the Hawayej, top with smoked fish (trout or salmon), chopped scallions, capers, and a lemon crème fraîche.
Food image and recipe © Christian Leue
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