Sunday, May 15

Unleavened Bread, Just Blows Me Away

The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. Prominent among these was the issue of "filioque", meaning whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist.

Jamie Oliver to the rescue! Those eyes! That hair! And his favourite “Anytime Garlic Flatbreads” could undoubtedly seal the Greatest of Schisms. One look, one taste and those hairy old Greek dudes would surely renege. My Hairy Old Scots Dude was putty in my hands come Good Friday when we demolished a job lot in record time. A bit of yoghurt dip here, some eggplant relish there…!

Big JO says to make the dough in a food processor. But if like me you don’t happen to own one that works, I can confirm that a good old fashioned wooden spoon and some elbow grease perform just as well. So, place 500grams of self-raising flour, one tablespoon of baking powder, 500grams of natural yoghurt (I used Greek!), and one tablespoon of sea salt in a large bowl and mix until dough-like. Then turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for about a minute. Don’t be alarmed by it’s very soft and sticky texture, it’ll be all right in the end. Now leave it to rest in a floured bowl covered in a tea towel for at least 20 minutes. (Big JO doesn’t actually specify a time but having made it again since and charged ahead without letting it relax at all, I can confirm that this is of paramount importance).

Meanwhile you can make the garlic butter simply by melting 150grams of butter and stirring in two finely chopped garlic cloves (or more if you’re a real fan-o-garlic) and a small bunch of chopped flat-leaf parsley. Then it’s time for the cooking…

Pop a griddle pan over a high heat to warm up whilst you’re preparing the dough. Which you do by dividing it into 12 equal-sized pieces and rolling them into side-plate-sized rounds. Then make six or so incisions with a sharp knife in the centre of each round (leaving about five cm at each end). Cook each one on the hot, dry (no butter or oil required) griddle for about two minutes each side or until puffy and golden. Keep them warm in the oven and then just before serving brush them on both sides with the garlic butter. Lovely jubbly!
My Finished Platter

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