OK, just ONE more flatbread.

Lavash is my favorite flatbread. It’s extremely thin and is traditionally made in large sheets. When it’s fresh it’s ideal for making wrap-type sandwiches, and is far superior to tortillas for that purpose. I’ve never tried making it at home since it’s tough to get the heat just right. Leave this ultra-thin bread in the oven too long and you get crackers. Too short and it’s pale and pasty.

How is lavash traditionally made? Like naan it’s slapped against the vertical wall of a large clay pot oven, though in the case of lavash a large pillow applicator makes the job easier. Here are some Armenian women doing that very thing. Cool, no? This bread is popular in Iran, Iraq, up into Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Eurasian steppes. I have no idea how I’ll pull it off.

13 thoughts on “OK, just ONE more flatbread.”

  1. No, wait! I make lefse, a Norwegian flat bread made mostly of mashed potatoes and flour that is made on a hot, ungreased griddle. The raw lefse is transferred to it using a lefsa stick which is a long, thin, tapered edged spatula. That might do the trick! Here’s a link to a video as a guide
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k16VR64Zu9Y

  2. Hi Joe, That’s the way they make the Lavash. they pull it off with their hand .Just loosen it with the tip of their thin rolling pin sometimes (its ends are tapered thinner) and pull it off with their hand. Sometimes they have just a wrist band to protect their wrist against the curvature of the oven when they stick or pull the bread off.
    I am guessing burning so many times, they get used to that, As I did burning in my oven so many times , now does not hurt and gets healed very fast hahaha.

    1. Heh. My arms were once covered with stripes from coming touching the edges of open doors. I wore them with pride! But yes, once you get used to those sorts of burns you barely feel it anymore!

      – Joe

  3. I make my lavash on an upside down sheet pan pre-heated, along with the oven, as high as it will go. Same idea for lahmadjoun too. (holler if you’d like the recipe)

    I always though lavash was originally Armenian and brought west. I have also heard arguments that it was the first bread, but I find that doubtful (although my Armenian ancestry wishes it was.)

    Cheers

    1. I want every recipe I can get, Paul! I’d love it.

      Very interesting on the history. I confess I see the word “Armenian” tied to lavash quite a bit. So maybe it’s true!

      I’ll be curious to see what you think of my technique!

      – Joe

  4. Joe, while you are at it, have you seen the Uzbek flatbreads? The ones that have imprinted designs on their surface. I love flatbreads for how good they taste, but those impressed me when I saw them; they pass as pastry.

  5. Heh – and based on the only Lavash I’ve seen in stores, I thought it WAS a cracker. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got going on.

    1. Indeed it often is! And in fact the real thing doesn’t take very long to stale and turn into crackers. Like most bread through history, it was mostly consumed stale, since people didn’t have access to it every day. However yes, the fresh stuff is quite pliable and nice. I hope to be able to replicate it!

      – Joe

  6. Please keep going! I love flatbreads. My father-in-law keeps trying to get me to make barbari (Persian flatbread) but I’m reluctant…to fail, that is. It feels like a shot in the dark to bake a bread that I’ve never eaten. How am I supposed to know if it comes out right?? Ever had it?

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