I have bookmarked in January this flatbread recipe from the February 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine but have forgotten about it. The issue was buried somewhere and found it while I was cleaning out the magazine table of junk. And since I'm into Middle Eastern cuisine I made Algerian Chicken Tajin and flatbread. The yummy flatbread is similar to pita, chapati, and naan but flakier and crispier. I used the Indian whole-wheat atta which surprisingly is so easy to handle, the dough is very soft and there was no problem rolling the pieces into very thin rounds. King Arthur fine ground whole wheat-flour is an excellent substitute if you can't find Indian atta.
Farid Zadi's Algerian Flatbread
3 cups finely ground whole-wheat flour, preferably Indian atta
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil, divided
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
- MAKE DOUGH: Stir together flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Slowly stir in water until a soft dough forms. If necessary, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Form dough into a ball and coat with 2 T oil in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough stand at warm room temperature for 1 hour. Mix together cumin, paprika, turmeric, and remaining ¼ C olive oil in a small bowl.
- FORM FLATBREADS: Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and, keeping remaining pieces covered with plastic film, flatten 1 piece of dough into a disk. Roll out disk as thinly as possible (into a 9-inch round) on a lightly floured surface with a 6-inch dowel or rolling pin (my note: use a plastic chopping mat to prevent staining your counter). Spread 1 tsp spiced oil with your fingertips or small pastry brush, then roll up tightly into a long cylinder and coil into a tight spiral. Transfer into a large sheet or parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Make 11 more spirals in the same manner.
- FINISH AND COOK FLATBREADS: Roll out one spiral into a round approximately 6 inches in diameter. Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot, cook flatbread, turning once, until puffed and browned in spots, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel. Roll out and cook 11 more flatbreads, stacking them on a plate.