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These unprepossessing-looking rounds, a uniform brownish-gray in color, more than make up for their lack of beauty with their wonderful taste of toasted sesame. We like to break them into pieces and serve them in a breadbasket, or as part of an appetizer spread with an array of savory toppings.
What we really like about them, at this time of the year, is that the dough goes together quickly and easily; and the rounds only bake for about 15 minutes, meaning your kitchen doesn’t warm up any more than it probably already is!
2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) Mellow Pastry Blend or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Four*
1/4 cup (7/8 ounce) pumpernickel or 100% King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) toasted sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) shortening
2 tablespoons (1/8 ounce) sesame oil
6 to 8 tablespoons water*, enough to make a cohesive dough
*Mellow Pastry Blend will give you a tenderer, slightly less crisp flatbread than all-purpose flour. You’ll use about 6 tablespoons water with the Mellow Pastry Blend, 8 tablespoons with the all-purpose flour.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, sugar, and sesame seeds. Using a pastry fork or blender, your fingers, or a mixer, cut in the butter and shortening, and add the sesame oil. Stir in enough water for the dough to hold together. Gather it into a ball, flatten it into a round, and chill it, wrapped, for at least 1 hour.
Divide the dough into four pieces; each will weigh about 4 1/2 to 4 7/8 ounces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a rough 9- to 10-inch circle; it should be a scant 1/8-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Place the dough circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or on a piece of parchment paper, if you’re going to bake them on a stone). Bake them in a preheated 400°F oven for 14 to 16 minutes, or until they’re golden brown around the edges. Yield: four flatbreads.
Nutrition information per serving (1 wedge, 1/4 of a flatbread, 32g): 138 cal, 9g fat, 3g protein, 13g complex carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 8mg cholesterol, 99mg sodium, 51mg potassium, 29RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 25mg calcium, 67mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 5, Summer 2001 issue.