Saturday 27 July 2013

Stuffed Iraqi flatbread (khubz laham)

Thankfully the weather broke a little over the past couple of days. It was cool enough to awake my appetite again.

I decided to make these Iraqi flatbreads from the August 2013 edition of delicious magazine. They were really tasty and made a great light-ish dinner that could easily be made more substantial. I started the dough on Thursday to eat on Friday.

Iraqi flatbreads

The recipe is for lamb flatbreads, but as lamb mince is a little difficult to get if you don’t have a halal butcher nearby, I used pork and veal mince.

For the dough, mx:
450g of plain flour (I used strong bread flour)
7g of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
300ml of warm water

in a bowl until they form a ball. Knead it for a few minutes (about 5 minutes) until it becomes elastic. Put it back in the bowl and cover with cling film, and leave it in a warm place. This should rise after about an hour or so. I made the dough on Thursday night and left the dough to rise until Friday evening.

When the dough is risen, knead it again for about 2-3 minutes. Cover it again with the cling film and leave it for another 30 minutes. While this is rising again, you can get on with the filing.

To make the filling, mix:
350g course minced lamb (I used 500g of pork and veal mince)
1 medium chopped onion
salt and pepper
½ a teaspoon of ground cumin
½ a teaspoon of ground turmeric
I also added a sprinkle of ground dried chili.

The recipe says that you mix this raw mixture through the dough and grill the breads for 6-8 minutes. I didn’t think this was enough to cook the mince thoroughly, so fried this mixture for about 15 minutes. I then left this to cool before adding a good handful of chopped parsley and mixing this cooked mixture though the raw dough.

Grill heating, I lined my grill tray with baking paper and a dusting of flour. The recipe says that you should now shape the dough into balls and roll out to about 0.5cm thick. My dough was by this stage too liquid to handle, so I dropped about two tablespoonsful of the dough per bread onto the sheet. I grilled these for about 5 minutes on the first side and another 4 on the other. I started getting worried as both the baking paper and the flour were burning and I couldn’t think of anything else to line the grill tray with (I don’t have this burning problem with naan bread, which I also grill).

The raw dough with the cooked mince. The turmeric turned the bread a lovely yellow!

I turned the oven on to 220° Celsius and divided the remaining dough between two baking sheets, lined with some Dr Oetker baking spray and baked the breads for 15 minutes. They turned out as good as the grilled ones, the only difference being that the grilled ones were fluffier while the baked ones were crunchier.

I got six large (about the size of a side plate) breads and served them with a tzatziki-type dip and a side salad.

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