Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Herbed Skillet Breads

Until my thumb turns greener (you don't want to know how many thyme plants I've killed), I'm stuck buying fresh herbs at the farmers' market, and I always end up with more than I need. Despite my best intentions, I rarely use up an entire bundle of herbs before it goes bad or dries out (as the fastly-filling baggie of dried rosemary in my cupboard attests).

Therefore, it is only because of my concern for waste (not my waist) that I'll be making these herb skillet breads as much as possible. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they're addictively crispy and fabulously carb-tastic. Nope. Nothing at all.

Herbed Skillet Breads
adapted from The Herbal Kitchen by Mark Traunfeld

2 1/2 c. flour, plus extra for dusting
1 c. boiling water
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed
approx. 1/2 c. chopped fresh herbs (I used a mix of tarragon, sage and parsley)

Put the flour in a food processor and, with the motor running, pour in the boiling water. Process for about 15 seconds to knead the ball of dough that will form. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest and cool for 30 minutes.

Heat 1/4 c. olive oil with the garlic in a small skillet over medium-low heat until the garlic cooks but does not brown. Set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and cut it into six equal pieces. Roll one of the pieces into a thin 9-inch circle, rotating it a quarter turn between rolls and using as much flour as needed to keep it from sticking.

my "circle" of dough

Brush the dough with some of the garlic oil and sprinkle it evenly with your herbs and a bit of salt. Roll up the circle from one end so you end up with a tube shape (like a jelly roll). I dipped my finger in some water and ran it lengthwise along the roll to help seal it. Next, coil your tube into a spiral like a snail, and fasten the loose end again (the water method comes in handy here too).

I had a hard time getting the end to attach back to the coil, and used water to "glue" it.

Roll the spiral into a flat cake about 7 inches in diameter; a few herb pieces may poke out of the dough and that's okay. Roll and fill the remaining pieces of dough in the same way.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Slip in one of the breads, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook until the underside is brown and the top puffs a little, approximately 1-2 minutes. Flip the bread and brown the other side. Remove to a plate covered with a paper towel. Repeat process with remaining breads, adding oil as needed. Sprinkle with a bit more kosher salt before serving if ya like.


connie said...

I just came across your blog and I like your pictures. I especially like this recipe, it seems very summery and could take on many variations with different herbs or toppings [maybe a fresh tomato salsa type thing?] I can't wait to try it, thanks for sharing!

Rorie said...

Carb-tastic!!!!! Ok, making these immediately - genius!

BoLA said...

Mmm... looks absolutely delicious! I'm currently reading "A Celebration of Herbs: recipes from the Huntington Herb Garden" and think you'd love it too! =)

Jessica said...

HSBs sound delish! Funny, b/c other than the rosemary and mint plants in my yard that grow like weeds, the only other herb I've managed to keep going is my trusty thyme plant. I've had the same prolific one for over three years now! And it doesn't require much picked from it to make an impact. A little goes a long way (mostly used for my signature lemon shallot salad dressing).

Erin S. said...

Connie--thanks! I agree that the toppings and herb mixes are endless. I like the tomato idea.

Rorie--I can't take any credit--Traunfeld's cookbook is fab, he says he based these breads on chinese scallion pancakes.

Bola-Sounds like a great book--I wish I could get the huntington folks to come over to my yard and help me out.

Jessica--I admit that I make liberal use of the rosemary growing maniacally in the lawn of the catholic church across the street from my place. Also...you'll have to share your dressing recipe sometime :)

Dad said...

I recommend you talk with your mother about her fry breads. They're a canoe trip staple for us.

Anonymous said...

oH YUM! that looks great, I have never made bread in a pan as such (tortillas, welsh cakes and the like yes..but) your looks extreeeeemly good.

Jeni said...

Thanks Erin for the recipe. My body hearts carbs!!!

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