Laffa Bread is a traditional Middle Eastern Bread that is easy to make at home, right on the stove top, and has so much more character than plain old pita bread ~
First up, I don’t get this aggressive very often, but … don’t lose track of this post! Pin it, bookmark it, memorize it, do whatever you need to do to make sure you don’t lose it before you make this amazing bread. Make it once and you’ll be making it forever, it’s that good.
Everybody knows that homemade hummus is the way to go. It’s so easy and it’s so much better than even the best stuff you can buy. But the real star of this post is the bread you serve with it. Laffa bread is a middle eastern bread that is thicker and chewier than pita. It’s used to wrap meats like kebabs and shawarma in food stands. It’s super popular in Israel and Palestine, and it’s perfect for scooping up hummus. Once you taste laffa bread you’ll never go back to pita again.
The bread dough rises for about an hour, then gets formed into individual pieces, rests for 10 minutes and then gets rolled out and cooked quickly on a griddle.
I find it amazing that so many different breads have such unique characteristics even though they start out with the same simple ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, sugar, water and oil. This bread cooks in just a couple of minutes, and is chewy and very elastic. The scorch marks give it a nice grilled flavor. It’s not a fussy bread—it rolls out easily and the shape isn’t important, you’re going to be ripping it apart anyway.
I found my recipe here, it makes 10-12 individual loaves so I froze half the dough in a heavy weight zip lock baggie after the initial rise.
- 7 cups unbleached bread flour plus another ½ cup in case the dough is little to sticky
- 1 package dry rapid rise yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups of warm water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
- 2-3 Tbsp tahini sauce
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil and toasted pine nuts for garnish
- Laffa Bread: Combine the dry ingredients. Add the oil and water and if you are using a food processor process for about 60 seconds until a very smooth, soft, and slightly sticky ball forms. If using a mixer, mix with the dough hook until the dough is very smooth, soft and elastic. If making by hand; after you add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix by hand in the bowl for a few moments until well combined and coming together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about ten minutes until smooth and elastic.
- In all cases after the kneading, place the dough in an oiled bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Then cover the bowl with a tea towel and place it in a draft free warm corner so the dough may rise. In about an hour, when the dough has doubled or more, punch the dough down. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal balls, and then roll the balls until smooth. Place the balls on an oiled cookie sheet. Cover them with a damp tea towel and let the dough balls rest for about ten minutes. Resting makes the dough easier to roll out.
- Pre-heat a grill pan to medium. I found that the large non stick grill pan was the easiest to work with. Take a ball of dough in your hands and flatten it out on an oiled wood surface. Roll it out with a rolling pin or use your hands. Make a circle about 12 inches in diameter and place the Laffa on the hot grill surface. When you see the edges looking dry and the bread is poofing up turn it over. Laffa only takes a few minutes to grill. Place the finished Laffas in between some kitchen towels to keep warm.
- Hummus: Put the garlic and chickpeas in a food processor or blender and process for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. the mixture will be very dry at this point.
- Add in the tahini and lemon juice and processes until smooth. Add a little bit of cold water the thin the hummus if it is very thick.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more tahini or lemon if you like. Spoon the hummus into a shallow bowl and top with a drizzle of olive oil and some toasted pine nuts.
- I am so happy with this recipe, it turns out the perfect laffa bread. I used my kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook and it was great. Even here in February in New England, the warmth from a sunny window rose the dough beautifully. My bread cooked for about 2 minutes on the first side and just a scant minute on the other. I recommend really pre-heating your griddle well.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…