Lamb / Tomato Bread
Lachmanjan (Armenia)

To prepare the dough :
In a large bowl combine the honey and water, stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the unbleached flour followed by the sea salt, oil and 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour. Stir 100 times in the same direction to properly develop the gluten. Gradually stir in additional flour until the dough becomes too stiff to stir. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8 - 10 minutes). It should still be somewhat sticky. Transfer the dough to a large lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the volume doubles (1 - 2 hours).

To prepare topping :
Meanwhile cook the shallot, garlic and the lamb stirring in the tomatoes and simmer over medium low heat until slightly thickened. Drain off any excess fat. The filling should be moist but not watery. Stir in cinnamon, adjusting taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until baking time.

The Dough
1/2 ts unpasteurized honey
1 cup warm water
1 ts active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 ts sea salt
1 tbs 1st cold pressed olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 lb ground lean lamb
1, 14oz can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 ts ground cinnamon
salt/pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbs pine nuts

To Assemble and Bake
Once the dough has risen lightly "punch" it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. With a sharp knife cut into twelve pieces. Cover and allow to rest for 5 - 10 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Using two non-stick baking sheets uncover one section of dough at a time flattening each with lightly floured hands onto the baking sheets. (should give aprox 4 inch circles). In the center of each bread spoon some of the topping spreading to the edges. Sprinkle each with the pine nuts. Bake one sheet at a time in the lower third of the oven 7 - 10 minutes. Serve hot. Yields 12 servings.

In bakeries from Instanbul to Erivan to Jerusalem there are many versions of lachmanjan (a round bread with a meat topping). Some renditions are thin-crusted and a full 10 inches across. Others are smaller with a thick crust. All are topped with lamb. Often blended with tomato and spices and sprinkled with pine nuts making a delicious pizza-like snack or light lunch.

We prefer our lachmanjan small like those in Armenia. For a vegetarian version omit the lamb, increase the shallots , the tomatoes and crumble on a dusting of feta cheese. Get the kids together and create your own style.

Innovate !

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