If you've read the early posts of this blog, you'll know that at one point I made, from scratch, 90% of my family's bread products.
Today, I went to google the name of a specific flatbread and I stumbled upon lohah, the Djiboutian/Somali/Yemeni bread that is a cross between a pita and a pancake.
I felt inspired. I scanned some recipes from the Internet and decided to have at it.
Phase one: the dough
• about 2 teaspoons yeast
• about four cups warm water
• a hearty squirt of honey (about two teaspoons sugar of whatever form-- you want to feed the yeast)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• about 1/2 teaspoon salt (I got fancy and used my pink Himalayan salt)
• about four cups flour (I used organic, unbleached Gold Medal that I found on clearance at Target for $2.94 for a five pound bag; I read this should be made with sourgum flour which I have worked with in the past. My friend said it requires millet.)
Now, this is a fermented dough. You stir it up and leave it sit. At least 30 minutes. I'm aiming for 2 hours. I covered it with a dish towel, dampened with warm water and set it near the cracked oven door. The oven had been 350 degrees previously. I'm trying to mimic the warmth and humidity of East Africa.
I let it rise two hours, and it presented with some fabulous volume.
At this point, the directions said to stir as a form of kneading. I did so, pleased to find a great blobby, elastic texture. Volume fell by about 1/3 at this point.
The next rise will be about an hour. I'm winging it.
Mine got really stringy-- fry until bubbly and mostly dry on one side and cover the pan for a little bit more to finish.
I've been writing professionally since 1991 for a variety of weekly and daily newspapers. I've written on every topic imaginable from politics to education, prostate cancer to concrete houses. I am president of the board of trustees at my local library and 2008-09 and 2010-11 president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group.
If that's not enough, I am currently querying agents for my sexy paranormal trilogy based in the world of high fashion. And I'm working on a second bachelor's degree (in International Affairs), with hopes of a masters degree in some sort of French studies after that.