The most ancient of bread is the flatbread, often called the "original bread". This bread was a crude mixture of grains and water, often cooked on hot stones by the nomadic tribes of long ago. Flattened dough cooked much faster than thicker dough and was easily carried from place to place. Somehow and it's not known when or how, but wild yeast spores got into the dough which caused the dough to lighten and rise. Imagine the delight!
I am so thrilled with this bread that I have made it twice more since baking it for this blog post. Split and toasted, it's great with butter and jam! Also, split, filled with fresh mozzarella, dead ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil, the bread makes a delicious panini. The chewy texture and numerous holes remind me of ciabatta. And the recipes works so well in the dough cycle of my bread machine. Original recipe fromThe Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook and adapted recipe from King Arthur Flour Baking-Nan-e-Barbari. My version adds a teaspoon of sugar to encourage the yeast. One more thing mention-after rising and prep for the oven, a flour/water glaze is brushed over the dough. This roomal or glaze gives the bread a crispy chewy crust reminiscent of a true barbari oven. I have not make this in my wood-fired oven, but that is my next project. I used a heated pizza stone is my conventional oven which I recommend.
- 1-2/3 cups lukewarm water (in winter, increase water to 1-3/4 cups)
- 2-1/4 teaspoon active dry or bread machine yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry or bread machine yeast
- 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup cool water
- 2 teaspoons seeds of choice-sesame, nigella or poppy seeds or an everything bagel mix of seeds.