Making Lavash

Now THIS is something I’m very excited about: homemade lavash. Wrap up some of your best sandwich fixin’s in some of this, straight from the oven, and get ready for the blank stares of wonder. In my universe lavash is the ultimate “wrap” bread, far preferable to tortillas, not only because it’s more flexible and tender, but because it’s larger and can more easily enclose…lots of stuff. Try this and you’ll probably never go back. Start by getting your ingredients together. Put the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle.

Stir them and add the wet ingredients. This will be a very wet dough. Beat the dough for 4-5 minutes until it’s smooth and stretchy.

Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover it with a cloth.

Let it rise for an hour to an hour and a half until it’s doubled. Meanwhile, preheat your oven as high as it will go. 550 Fahrenheit is great if you can manage it. You’ll need a pizza stone for this.

Pull off a piece, about an eighth of the mass, and apply it to a well-floured piece of parchment. Flour the dough, flour the pin, flour your hands, flour your brain if it’ll help…

…and roll…

Roll a little, turn the sheet, roll a little more. Keep dusting the dough lightly as you roll, getting it as thin as you possibly can. This sheet isn’t as good as those little Armenian ladies made, but perfection isn’t required. Speaking of which, I decided in the end not to dock these (poke holes) or brush on oil or add seeds. You can do that, but to me this bread is perfect as it is.

To bake these, slide the parchment with the bread off your counter onto the back of a sheet pan. Open the oven and reach in with the pan, planting the far edge of the pan at the far edge of the stone.

Lean it forward a touch, then just pull out the pan.

90 seconds later, you’ll have something like this. Bubbly, dappled with tan spots on the bottom…perfect.

Use it right away or stack it, let it cool and get it right into a plastic storage bag because, being so thin, it stales very, very quickly. How does it taste? Let’s just say it’s spring break and my bread-finicky 9-year-old is home today with a school friend. I served them this for an afternoon snack, getting ready for “the face” and a plea for Doritos. She and her friend ate a sheet apiece, dipped in olive oil. Score one for the old man.

32 thoughts on “Making Lavash”

  1. All the lavosh I have ever had has been crisp like a cracker and covered with seeds. I love that stuff but am going to have to try the soft folding kind you showed.

  2. I have a challenge for you Joe. While in Australia recently I had a http://www.bingboy.com.au/menu/hey-bing-boy/. They are not exactly traditional jian bing, but they are delicious. I’ve been making them at home (got a friend to make me an 40cm/16inch flat iron griddle that I put on the wok burner on my stove) with cobbled together ingredients, but would love to be able to make a proper traditional jian bing. My reserches tell me they are supposed to have a Chinese (funny that) bread thing in the middle, a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youtiao. They can also have fried crispy won ton wrapper stuff, which is what I use. But anyway, my challenge for you is Youtiao. What do you think?

  3. Those look great. If you left the dough in the oven another minute or two, would it have become a cracker-like lavash? Or would that need a different type of recipe altogether?

    1. Hey Chana!

      Great question. Yes indeed. A little longer and the lavash do dry into crackers. If you wanted to make that sort of lavash, I’d suggest brushing them with oil and sprinkling on sesame or poppy seeds, and baking them around 400 Fahrenheit for 5 minutes or more, until they turn golden brown and crispy!

      – Joe

  4. Joe, they look great,good job. They would be delicious fresh or not with Feta Chesse, Walnats and fresh Basil. …

    1. Thanks, Nahid!

      I was wondering when you gone! I had fun doing these, and my girls love them!

      – Joe

  5. Sorry Joe, Have been busy preparing my garden, Your website is dangerous. As I told you I love breads and you are showing me new ones that I love to try. I might break the scale , LOL.

  6. Hi Joe,

    Could I freeze the dough in portion sizes so that all I need to do is pull one out of the freezer, defrost it, roll it out then cook it? They look ace by the way, thanks for the recipe,

    All the best

    Danny

    1. You can get away with using some, but not as a complete substitute since gluten is a pretty essential component. I’d try using 1/3 spelt flour and see how it goes.

      – Joe

  7. These also bake up very nicely on a gas grill, if you happen to want to make them outdoors. I made them twice during my annual two-weeks-living-in-the-woods experience. I’m going to have to try them over a campfire next.

  8. Think this will work with substitution of whole wheat flour and oat bran vs the all purpose? Thanks.

    1. Hi Bekah!

      It probably will work, but it won’t be as stretchy so you’ll have to be careful handling it.

      Cheers,

      – Joe

    1. Hey Dizzy!

      Good question. You might be able to bake them on the back of a sheet pan positioned on one of your oven racks so it gets good and hot. Just be careful since the pan will want to slide around on the rack.

      Best of luck with the project!

      – Jow

  9. super excited to try this. I too keep finding crispy cracker type lavash recipes, but the soft wrap style is exactly what I was looking for. I am finding it increasingly hard to find this in my local area grocery stores and homemade is ALWAYS much better anyhow! If I use whole wheat flour for half the flour and add some wheat gluten do you think the dough will get elastic enough??

    1. Hi Amy, you’ve probably answered your own question by now, but my feeling is that some whole wheat would work very well. I’d be inclined to make a it a third whole wheat at least to start. But I’m curious about your results!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

  10. Hi, I just learned that Joseph’s no longer sells Lavash bread in New England, except for their new, nasty tasting Flax, Oat Bran and Wheat flat bread. I’m so disappointed. I do not have a stand mixer. Would I still be able to make this, with no mixer at all? Also, I thought lavash was unleavened. Sorry for the ignorance. I’m not a baker, nor do I want to be. But I want lavash bread!

    1. Hey Lise!

      I started making my own for a very similar reason! To answer your question, you can make this without a stand mixer. Just be patient and keep your hands well floured, because this dough is sticky! I would start mixing it with a wooden spoon, then move to kneading by hand…but think “folding” more than “kneading”. Stretch it out, fold it over and repeat until the dough is smooth like in the pictures. Millennia of Middle Eastern bakers did this before you, you can too. 😉 Just stay patient and keep practicing.

      Cheers and have fun!

      – Joe

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