Monday, March 12, 2018

Wild garlic flaky flatbreads

The first thing I did the other day when I came home with a bunch of wild garlic that I found at the market, was munch on a few of them raw on the spot. I was intent on inhaling that grassy, herby, garlic flavor of these beauties that whispered in my ear that the arrival of spring is not too far away now.




I have never come across wild garlic anywhere before; I’m not the foraging kind and my local market doesn’t carry them, so by pure luck I bumped into them and couldn’t control myself with happiness. What a food geek am I, right?




By the way, on the same day, I decided to buy a hugely expensive bottle of 100% yuzu citrus juice (yuzu is a native Japanese citrus fruit that can only be found in Japan) and was ecstatic about that too, but that’s another post entirely.




Back to wild garlic. Thoughts and ideas were racing through my head about what to do with it, and I began to complicate things, as per usual, but then I thought to myself, hey, snap out of it, this is garlic, it’s garlic!, you know what to do with garlic, its’ the best thing in the world. Make wild garlic pesto, add it straight to salads, make tzatziki (I did! will share soon here it is!), make garlic butter and smear it on a nice, juicy piece of steak or toast, serve it with baked salmon (I did that too), oh there’s no limit to what wild garlic can do.




The first thing I did do with it, though, was use it to make these flatbreads, and they were incredible. Blistered and buttery, soooo flaky and deeply aromatic from the wild garlic, and for me, one of the best flatbreads I’ve ever tasted.




They’re thin and crispy yet bendy and a little chewy, thus perfect for souvlaki, buttery but light, with a rich flavor from the olive oil and the herby, grassy flavor of the wild garlic which is usually more mellow than that of regular garlic. The leaves have a soft garlic flavor while the small stalks have a stronger, sharper, garlicky flavor that is reminiscent of spring onion, so essentially the flavor of wild garlic is to me like a cross between regular garlic and spring onion.



They’re the best accompaniment to soups and stews, helping you mop up all the juices from your plate, ideal served with grilled meats or fish, perfect to wrap your chicken or meat skewers around, to serve alongside huge salads and roasted vegetables of any kind, and to dip it into labneh or hummus.




I have to say that they’re quite addictive, you can’t possibly eat just one, so beware; don’t say I didn’t warn you.







Wild garlic flaky flatbreads

I only used the leaves of the wild garlic, not the little stalks because they will tear through the delicate dough when you roll it out, so don’t be tempted to add that part either.

The wild garlic leaves I used were approximately 14 cm long each and I mention that because their size varies.

Wild garlic is also known as ramson or bear garlic.




Yield: 10 flatbreads

Ingredients
85 g unsalted butter
375 g 00 flour
Sea salt
175 ml water
16-18 wild garlic leaves, chopped

30 g melted and cooled unsalted butter, for brushing dough

Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing flatbreads and baking paper

Special equipment: stand mixer, plastic wrap, rolling pin (I use a thin rolling pin, the one I use to roll out phyllo dough), soft pastry brush, baking paper, cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed frying pan/skillet/griddle pan


Preparation
Melt the 85 g of butter and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and salt and whisk. Add the melted butter and with the dough hook attachment mix for a few seconds. Add the water gradually and knead the dough until you have a smooth, shiny and soft dough, for about 5 minutes. Shape it into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave dough to rest for 3 hours at room temperature.


Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 10 equal-sized pieces. I weighed them because I’m OCD. Roll them into balls and place them on a baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. The dough balls should be soft and pliable. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Before starting to roll them out, have a baking sheet and baking paper ready because you will stack the flatbreads between pieces of baking paper that you need to grease with olive oil so the flatbreads don’t stick on them.

Have your melted and cooled 30 g of butter ready, as well as the chopped wild garlic leaves.

Working on a clean surface (no flour needed), take one ball and using a rolling pin, roll it out to a 22-23 cm round (you don’t need to be too strict with the shape, it can be slightly oblong/oval shape).
Brush the top with melted and cooled butter (be aware that the amount of butter should last for all 10 flatbreads so eyeball it), scatter a few pieces of chopped wild garlic leaves and then sprinkle with some sea salt.


Roll the dough tightly up into a long and thin rope and then wind that rope to form a tight coil. Using your rolling pin, roll out that coil into a 23-25 cm round. Again, you don’t need to be too strict with the shape, it can be slightly oblong/oval, but you must be strict with how big it is; don’t roll them out bigger because they will be thinner and they will be more like crackers instead of flaky flatbreads.


Place the flatbread on a piece of baking paper that you have greased well with olive oil and cover it. You don’t want the flatbreads to dry up!
Continue preparing the rest of the flatbreads, keeping them stacked on top of each other, in between sheets of oiled baking paper.


Heat your cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed frying pan/skillet/griddle pan over a medium-high heat. When it heats up very good, turn heat down to medium and cook the flatbreads, one at a time, about 2 minutes per side, regulating the heat so they don’t burn. When you take the flatbread off the heat, immediately brush both sides with a little olive oil and serve.


They are best served warm but they are delicious when they cool as well.




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