Lahmajun (Armenian Flatbread)
SERVES 4 TO 6
TIME 1 HOUR, PLUS 17 HOURS RESTING
You’ll need a baking peel for this recipe; if you don’t have one, use an over- turned rimmed baking sheet instead. King Arthur All-Purpose Flour gives these flatbreads the perfect balance of crispness and tenderness, but if it’s unavailable, substitute any major brand of all-purpose flour. We strongly recommend weighing the flour and the water. Jarred biber salçası (Turkish red pepper paste) can be found in Middle Eastern grocery stores or online. Be sure to use the mild variety; if it’s unavailable, increase the tomato paste in the topping to 2 tablespoons and increase the paprika to 4 teaspoons. Eighty-five percent lean ground beef can be substituted for the lamb, if desired. Eat the lahmajun out of hand, either whole, cut into halves or quarters, folded in half, or rolled into a cylinder. If desired, omit the lemon wedges and serve with Cucumber-Tomato Salad (recipe follows). If serving with the salad, use a slotted spoon to distribute 1 cup of salad evenly along the center third of each lahmajun. Fold the outer thirds of the lahmajun over the filling, one side at a time. Turn the rolled lahmajun seam side down and cut in half crosswise.
3 ¼ cups (16 ¼ ounces) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
⅛ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) ice water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons table salt
Vegetable oil spray
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ small onion
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
2 tablespoons mild biber salcasi
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon table salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 ounces ground lamb, broken into small pieces
1. FOR THE DOUGH: Process flour and yeast in food processor until combined, about 2 seconds. With processor running, slowly add ice water; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
2. Add oil and salt and process until dough forms shaggy ball, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly oiled counter and knead until uniform, about 1 minute (texture will remain slightly rough). Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, about 6 ⅔ ounces each. Shape dough pieces into tight balls and transfer, seam side down, to rimmed baking sheet coated with oil spray. Spray tops of balls lightly with oil spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 16 hours or up to 2 days.
3. FOR THE TOPPING: In now-empty processor, process bell pepper, onion, parsley, biber salçası, tomato paste, garlic, allspice, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 15 seconds. Add lamb and pulse to combine, 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer to container, cover, and refrigerate until needed (topping can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours).
4. One hour before baking lahmajun, remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until slightly puffy and no longer cool to touch. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (rack should be 4 to 5 inches from broiler element), set baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
5. Place 1 dough ball on unfloured counter and dust top lightly with flour. Using heel of your hand, press dough ball into 5-inch disk. Using rolling pin, gently roll into 12-inch round of even thickness. (Use tackiness of dough on counter to aid with rolling; if dough becomes misshapen, periodically peel round from counter, reposition, and continue to roll.) Dust top of round lightly but evenly with flour and, starting at 1 edge, peel dough off counter and f lip, floured side down, onto floured baking peel (dough will spring back to about 11 inches in diameter). Place one-quarter of topping (about ½ cup) in center of dough. Cover dough with 12 by 12-inch sheet of plastic and, using your fingertips and knuckles, gently spread filling evenly across dough, leaving ⅛ -inch border. Starting at 1 edge, peel away plastic, leaving topping in place (reserve plastic for topping remaining lahmajun).
6. Carefully slide lahmajun onto stone and bake until bottom crust is browned, edges are lightly browned, and topping is steaming, 4 to 6 minutes. While lahmajun bakes, begin rolling next dough ball.
7. Transfer baked lahmajun to wire rack. Repeat rolling, topping, and baking remaining 3 dough balls.
8. Serve with lemon wedges.
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