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Jordanian Bedouin Flatbread (Shrak)
2 hours 10 minutes 50 minutes active
Shrak is the daily bread on the Bedouin table. The simple, rustic flatbread is as suited to dunking in olive oil and za’atar or serving with hummus and other dips as it is for scooping up stewy or saucy main dishes. We loved the shrak that home cook Fatima Mohammad demonstrated for us during a recent visit to Petra, Jordan. While seated on the floor, she used her hands, with an assist from gravity, to form a portion dough into a sheet as thin as film and larger than a hubcap, then cooked it swiftly on a saj, or a domed griddle resembling an inverted wok. The bread was soft and supple, with a satisfying chewiness and a subtly nutty yet clean flavor. We wanted to find a way to make shrak at home. The dough, a simple mixture of equal parts (by volume) whole-wheat and all-purpose flours plus salt and water, came together easily in a stand mixer. To shape the dough, we use our hands, plus a rolling pin and an overturned bowl to gently stretch it into a round thin enough to be almost translucent. Without a saj for cooking the bread, we opted for a large cast-iron skillet (a griddle works, too), but because of the skillet’s diameter, we make our shrak about the size of a standard flour tortilla. Transferring the ultra-thin dough to the skillet without any folding or wrinkling is a little tricky, so the first attempt may yield an imperfect bread, but shaping and cooking become easier as you get the hang of the technique. Store leftovers in a zip-close bag for up to a day or two; to reheat, sprinkle with a few drops of water, wrap in foil and place in a 400°F oven for about five minutes.
grams (1 cup) whole-wheat flour
grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting