Snowshoe flatbread

This flatbread is similar to nan, common in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. You can also make it with a higher proportion of whole wheat flour.

2-1/2 C warm water
1 t yeast
1 C whole wheat flour
4-1/2 to 5-1/2 C all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 T sesame seeds

Place water in a large bowl, add yeast, and stir to dissolve. Add whole wheat flour and 1 C of all-purpose flour and stir well, then stir for about a minute. Let stand for 30 minutes, covered, to develop flavor.

Sprinkle on the salt, then add another cup of flour and stir. Continue adding flour and stirring until you can stir no longer. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed, until it’s smooth and easy to handle (about 10  minutes).

Place dough in a large clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for a couple of hours, until it’s more than doubled. Gently punch it down and turn onto a floured surface.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500F and set out a 12×18 inch baking sheet. (if you have a baking stone, heat it on a middle rack in the oven as your preheat)

Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each into a flat oval, about 5×8 inches. Let each one sit on the work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Fill a small bowl with cold water.

When the oven is ready, dip your fingertips in the water, and beginning at one end of a dough oval, make tightly spaced indentations all over the surface, pressing down all over the dough until it looks pitted and wet. Stretch the dough into a long oval by draping it over the back of your hands and pulling them apart gently. You can get an oval 16 inches long or more with stretch marks all over it.

Place it back on the floured work surface and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pick it up with two hands and place on the baking stone or sheet. While it bakes, start forming the next one. Each bread takes about 4 minutes to bake, and will have golden patches on top and a crusty browned bottom surface when it’s done.

If it’s hot, you could also cook this on a barbecue grill, outdoors.