Flat breads and baba ganoush


The flat bread recipe is rather like pizza (but with water rather than milk) – this should make six large flat breads (which would be fine for 4 people – I served the left overs the following day with chilli):

  • 500g of half white and half wholemeal strong flour (sieved into a large (microwavable) bowl)
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp active dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Heat 100ml of the water (in a measuring jug in the microwave) to blood heat (c. 37C – or when you put your finger in it and it’s neither hot nor cold). About 350W for 10 seconds may achieve this, but it’s a bit hit and miss, and depends on the starting temperature for the water. If it’s too hot allow to cool for a bit to avoid killing the yeast.

Stir the sugar into the water and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Leave covered in a warm place (eg airing cupboard) for about 15 minutes (it should start foaming on top).

Heat the flour (microwave at 750C for 15 seconds) and microwave the remaining water to about 37C. Stir the oil into the yeast mixture, make a well in the middle of the flour and add the yeast mixture and most of the water and mix together with your hands. The aim is to create a ball of dough that sticks together but isn’t very sticky. Add more water as necessary.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.

Place the dough ball back in the bowl, cover (I find those charity clothes collection bags really useful here!) and place somewhere warm. You don’t need to use an airing cupboard, the dough will rise at any reasonable room temperature, but it will take longer. In an airing cupboard the dough should be ready within 1.5 hours.

When the dough has risen. Divide in to 6 balls. Flatten them out, and roll each on a floured surface until they are the size and shape of a large plate. Transfer to sheets of baking parchment, and allow to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.

I cooked mine, by removing the parchment and placing them directly onto oiled baking sheets in the oven, at 260C (Gas mark 10), for about 3 minutes, and then for 1 minute on the other side. I think the result may have been better had I used the smooth side of griddle, or a heavy bottomed frying pan. Don’t try cooking too many flat breads in the oven at once, as they puff up a lot during cooking (I used two baking sheets).

Keep warm and serve with dips, such as hummus or baba ganoush.

For baba ganoush (for 2 people):

  • 1 medium sized aubergine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of parsley (chopped)

Wash the aubergine. Pierce the skin in several places with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 750C. Turn the aubergine over and cook for another 2 minutes. It will be cooked when it begins to look squashed. Remove from the microwave, wrap in a towel and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the stalk and peel away the skin from the aubergine, and then cut into small cubes.

Place all the ingredients except the parsley in a liquidiser or food processor, and blend until smooth. Turn out into a bowl and stir in the parsley.

Serve cold with flat bread.