Update March 2011 – this recipe is not gluten-free or vegan. In June 2009 I switched to eating gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and nearly vegan, so this recipe predates the switch
This week, I am also using my WCW post as my recipe
entry into the October Royal Foodie Joust. The Royal Foodie Joust is a monthly competition that is hosted on the Leftover Queen/FoodieBlogroll Forum. Each entry features 3 ingredients in common, picked by last month’s winner.
For October, the ingredients are parsley, dairy (in any form) and fennel (whole, ground, seeds).
I had been wanting to make a roti-inspired bread for a while, so after reading some cookbooks (including Madhur Jaffrey’s) and Kim O’Donnel’s fantastic Mighty Appetite blog, I came up with the following:
Whole Wheat Flatbread with Fennel and Parsley
1 cup whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon plain whole-fat yogurt
1/2 cup warm water, minus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Toast fennel seeds in a hot pan. It only takes about 3 minutes before the air gets all liquoricey and delicious, so turn off stove and let them cool for a few minutes. Crush fennel seds. I crushed them using rolling pin, but you could use a mortar and pestle with more success (mental note: procure mortar and pestle).
Combine flour, salt, baking soda, roasted fennel seeds, and yogurt in a medium to large bowl, making sure ingredients are integrated. Add warm water and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, keep combining until you have a soft dough.
Place dough on light floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. This is where you want to incorporate teh parsley, about one tablespoon at a time. As you press, fold and turn your dough, add parsley. The air will soon be scented with a lovely green liquorice aroma.
Place dough in a covered bowl covered with a damp towel. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet (at least 9 inches in diameter) or a tava (or just use a largeish frying pan). Allow pan or tava to get hot. Divide dough into four balls. Work with each ball one at a time, keeping the remaining balls covered. Dust work surface with flour and roll out ball into a six-inch round. Pick up flatbread and slap between your palms to dust off extra flour. Slap onto hot cooking surface. Cook for five seconds. Flip it over. Cook second side for five seconds. Continue to flip on each side at least six times.Then, place flatbread in microwave oven and cook for 30 seconds until slightly puffed. Remove and keep warm until eating. Repeat for the rest of the flatbreads.
About the microwave — I know I know — it’s a cop out, but I did not have the right pan (or skills) to get the bread to puff, and I saw that trick in enough blogs and Indian cookbooks that I gave in.
We had the flatbread with some yummy lentils. I will post that recipe sometime soon.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers