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
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.
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).
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.