Lavash: Part II: The Baking
March 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
You can read about the first part of the lavash-making process here.
When your dough is fully risen, it will have doubled in size, will have lost its elasticity, and its surface will be dotted with bubbles,
so when you poke it with a finger,
your finger will leave a distinct indentation.
Turn it out onto a floured surface,
deflate it with your hands,
and use a bench scraper (a highly recommended tool) or a knife to cut it into even pieces.
Traditionally, lavash is very large, easily about a foot across, but I don’t have a large enough round griddle for this, so I have to size them roughly to the size of my cast iron skillet. This can also be made on a griddle if you have one, or baked in the oven on a pre-heated baking sheet at 450 degrees.
The key to rolling something out thinly is to roll it out halfway, let it rest, and then to roll it to its final size. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax (gluten is the protein in the flour, and it is kind of like a muscle) between each rolling.
If I was after perfection, I would roll this out more circular than this, but I never am. But here’s what to do if you must have it perfectly round – start with a neat ball of dough, pat it into a round pancake, and then roll evenly in each direction, giving it a quarter turn each time.
Now heat your pan over medium to medium-high heat until very hot. Do not add any butter or oil.
Transfer the dough into the skillet when it is very hot,
turning with a spatula when brown spots cover the bottom of the bread, several minutes.
Remove onto a platter as soon as the other side looks the same. They dry out really fast, so keep them wrapped in plastic.
Note that these do not look like the ones they make in the Old Country, which are much larger and thinner, so I make no claim to authenticity here – but my family, especially Jacob, loves these just as they are.
Lavash – Azerbaijani Flatbread (sorta)
From Flatbreads and Flavors.
Note: I cut the recipe in half, but here I am going to give the original recipe from the book (i.e. double of what I made).
- 1 T honey or brown sugar
- 1/2 t dry yeast
- 1 1/2 C lukewarm water
- 2 1/2 to 3 C unbleached white flour
- 1 t salt
Mix all ingredients in a mixer until they come together or in a bowl with a wooden spoon until too stiff to stir by hand. Turn out onto a floured surface to knead. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a well-oiled bowl, turning several times until well-coated. Cover with saran, and leave to rise for 3 hrs, or until doubled in half and the surface is dotted with bubbles. Turn the dough out onto a floured board, deflate, and divide into eight-ten pieces, depending on the size of your skillet/griddle. Shape each piece into a ball, press down into a round patty, and roll evenly in each direction, giving it a quarter turn each time, until you get a round about 6″ across. Let rest briefly until workable again, and roll again until thin. Heat the skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot, and place the breads one at a time into the skillet, cooking until brown spots cover the bottom. Turn, and cook on the second side. Remove to a platter and keep wrapped in plastic until ready to use.