Thursday, January 22, 2009

Flatbread Modern Cuisine from an Ancient Tradition

Scott brought back the tradition of baking flatbread in the 1973, when he returned from his travels in India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. As Scott tells the story, he was on a bus through the Khyber Pass toward Kabul when the bus broke down near Jalalabad, in Eastern Afghanistan. He had nothing to do for four hours while repairs were made, except watch local bakers at work making naan, the local flatbread of the region. The aromas of wood smoke and fresh-baked naan, combined with the sweet/tart flavor of the local apricot jam on the warm bread, created an unforgettable "village food" experience!

The bakery was completely outdoors-- the oven was made from a thick, horizontal plate of steel set on a long rectangular base of firebrick and adobe, with a stoking door for adding entire 6-foot logs, lengthwise. Adobe was formed in an arcing tunnel over the steel plate, with no door at enclose the "oven" space--but obviously the oven was hot enough it did not need a door!

It was January, but the workers were lightly dressed as they worked near the huge oven. Each long naan flatbread was placed all the way in the oven on a long wooden paddle, then removed, less than two minutes later, fully baked, with a few charred spots adding to the unique whole wheat flavor....

During our time in Minnesota, we made flatbread on the stovetop of our Home Comfort woodstove, but now we use a similar, simple recipe and a modern, very hot, convection oven to create a fast-baked and delicious whole-grain flatbread.

Instant "Flatbread Pizza" Ideas: (Heat oven to 400 F. and bake 12 minutes)
Marinara sauce, onions, peppers, tofu and parmesan cheese.
Hummus, diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, oregano, and Feta cheese
Black bean spread, salsa, and sweet corn kernels with cheddar cheese
Vegenaise, pesto, shredded smoked salmon, and parmesan cheese

(Note: We always use cheese sparingly, as a "seasoning", and suggest you do the same.)

Other "Quick Meal" Ideas using Flatbread:
Flatbread Pannini with Grilled Veggies or Tuna Salad
Flatbread and Dal (Traditional Indian soup with Red Lentils)
Flatbread and Chili
Flatbread and Egg Scramble with Fresh Veggies (see photo above)

The possibilities are virtually endless, so use your imagination! Flatbread is a staple bread in our food subscription service. Order some from us today!



Anonymous Deborah said...

The Squash Miso Coconut Soup rocks!!! The first time I tried it I kept going back for more - 4 bowls in a row! It's really good with Ginger bits in it. =]

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Anonymous TESOL certification said...

Sounds very interesting and delicious!

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