Homemade Lafa to go with my homemade hummus!
So, one day while touring Tiberius, Israel we stopped at Pagoda restaurant for lunch; and it turned out to be our St. Peter’s fish meal. The lunch that I had been warned about by several people to “not eat the St. Peter’s fish”. However, we found it delicious. The waiters first brought out (family style) platters of hummus (with the hummus swoosh), fresh warm bread, big blocks of onion rings, bowls of slaw and after that came the platters of the St. Peter’s fish (heads and fins on) and chicken schnitzel for those who did not want fish.
While we were eating the owner came out to talk to us. She told us how much the Israeli people love America and what we do to support them and then she sang us a song which definitely brought tears to my eyes. It was the most memorable lunch; one I will long remember.
One of the first things I wanted to make when I returned home was hummus and bread. I chose to make lafa bread to go with my homemade hummus. Lafa bread is a Middle Eastern flatbread; and known in other countries as pita/Greece/Middle East; Roti/India; Tortilla/Mexico; Pizza/Italy; Naan/Iran, India; Lefse/Norway, and Goraasa/Sudan just to name a few.
Flatbreads can be leavened (this one) or unleavened which would just be flour, water and salt. This is a really easy bread to throw together. Just don’t over cook it like I did this time. I think if I had made it lightly brown it would have reheated better. It was delicious right off the griddle with some soft butter spread on it.
I’ve made hummus often but usually make it with white beans in stead of chickpeas. This version I used the traditional chickpea and added a rosemary infused olive oil to pour over it and I garnished with some sweetie peppers, fresh rosemary and a sprinkle of paprika. I think the addition of cumin makes this a delicious hummus and nothing like warm bread for dipping.
I noticed while in Israel that the hummus often was swooshed (or smeared) on a plate so I googled it and there was actually a “swooshing” video on youtube. So for here on out, I will be swooshing my hummus.
I’ll be posting more about our trip later; it was an amazing experience and one of our best trips we’ve taken.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: This Lemon Scented Pull-Apart Bread would be great to serve during the holidays.
Bread mixed and kneaded. Let rise for an hour then cut into small pieces and roll out.
Roll out. I brushed some rosemary infused olive oil on pieces before grilling but you can do it without the oil.
Brown on hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Serve warm. If serving later, wrap in foil and rewarm in 250° oven.
Put all the ingredients in Vitamin or food processor and blend. Thin with some of the chickpea liquid.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. I added a little more cayenne pepper.
If you want to do the hummus swoosh, pile the hummus in center of plate and take the flat edge of something and turning the plate, hollow out the center of the mound, leaving a space to pour on some olive oil.
This is my plate before they brought out the St. Peter’s fish; slaw, hummus, bread, and onion rings.
This is the St. Peter’s fish with a few bites missing. Those were good French fries too.
- 2-15 oz. cans chickpeas drained and save liquid
- 1/3 c. chickpea liquid or more as needed
- 1/2 c. tahini
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 lemons juiced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- olive oil
- fresh parsley
- sprinkling of cayenne pepper optional
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or Vitamin and process for 30 seconds or more until you get it as creamy as you want. Add more liquid if needed for a softer/creamier hummus.
Put the hummus on a serving plate and I swirled out leaving a spot in the middle to add the olive oil, sprinkle with paprika and fresh parsley
Serve with warm flatbread or pita.
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup warm water about 100 degrees, warm but not hot to the touch
- 1/2 cup warm milk about 100 degrees, warm but not hot to the touch
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups bread flour more or less (see note)
n a large bowl (or bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook), mix the yeast, sugar water, milk, oil, salt and one cup of the flour until well combined.
Gradually add the remaining flour until a soft dough is formed. It will pull away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball but still be slightly soft to the touch (see the note). Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until it is soft and smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap; let rise until doubled, about an hour or so.
Divide the dough into six or eight equal pieces. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough pieces rest for 10-15 minutes (this helps relax the gluten so they are easier to roll out).
Working with one piece at a time, on a lightly greased or floured counter, roll the dough about 1/8-inch thick into a large circle, about 7-8 inches in diameter.
Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat (I preheat my electric griddle to 300 degrees). When the griddle/skillet is hot, cook the flatbread for 2-3 minutes on the first side until it bubbles and puffs. Flip it over with a pair of tongs and cook on the second side until it is golden and spotty. If the skillet isn’t hot enough, the bread can turn out dry (and won’t bend easily) from being overcooked so look for the right amount of heat that will cook the flatbread in 2-3 minutes max per side.
Transfer the flatbread to a plate or work surface and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining dough (I can fit two pieces of flatbread on my electric griddle so I roll out two at a time), stacking each warm flatbread on top of the others and covering with the towel.
The flatbread can be made, cooked, cooled and frozen with great results. It is best served the day it is made but can be reheated gently the day after, if needed.
Adapted from cooking class.com