As this bread isn’t really all that flat, it’s a bit of a misnomer. I made it because I’m a bit lazy and could not be fagged to make pita bread, which is what you traditionally eat with hummus and babaganoush, the recipes for which will follow on the heels of this one. I have used semola flour for this one, which is reground semolina, so it has the semolina flavour without the coarse texture. You could use all semolina, or a mix of both, but obviously your water to flour ratio will change. Which isn’t too big a problem, if you add the water slowly, you’ll probably see when to stop. If the dough gets too wet, add a tablespoon of plain flour, if it is too dry, add a teaspoon of water (teaspoon, not tablespoon!).
For those of you who are now shaking their heads, wondering what’s too wet or too dry, here’s a tip (the rest of you, just skip to the next paragraph): Add the water slowly and watch what’s happening. Stop pouring as soon as the dough starts to come together, even if it looks like it is going to be too dry. Give it a minute or two and if there is still some flour that has not incorporated, add a little more water. What you are looking for is a dough that is relatively sticky. Once it has been kneaded and rested, it should stop being too sticky to handle. You will notice that it does not stick to your hands, but will attach itself to your chopping board. So dust the board with semolina and work swiftly.
- 200g fine semola flour
- 400g plain bread flour
- 12g dried yeast
- 12g sea salt
- 15g cassonnade or brown sugar
- 300ml water
- 30g olive oil plus extra for topping
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp anis seeds
- rough sea salt
Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Pour the oil into the water, turn the mixer with hook attachment to lowest speed and slowly pour in the water. Once the dough has come together, increase the speed to the second setting and leave to knead for 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer, remove the hook and cover the bowl with a cloth. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Knock back the dough, attach the hook and leave to knead for another 5 minutes. Remove the hook again, shape the dough into a ball and leave it to rise until doubled, about one hour.
Knock the dough back again and divide it into four. Using coarse semolina, knead each quarter quickly and shape into a flat disk. Oil the outside and score it across in one direction only. Sprinkle some coarse salt, some cumin and anis seeds over it and leave it to rise for about 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top and hollow sounding when tapped. Leave to cool.
NOTE: This bread is best when reheated at 180ºC for 15 minutes before serving. It can be frozen and reheated in the exactly same way. there will be no need to increase the time of re-heating.