Semolina Flatbreads with Sesame, Caraway and Fennel Seeds
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup semolina, plus more for dusting
- Glaze and topping
1. In large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (120F to 130F) and Sugar. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand until dissolved and foamy, 8 to 10 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1 cup all-purpose flour. Beat about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until bubbly and sponge-like, about 1 hour.
2. Stir down sponge. Stir in oil and salt. Gradually beat in semolina. Add just enough of remaining 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour until dough is too stiff to stir. (The dough should be soft.) Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead, adding just enough flour to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. (You can mix and knead dough in stand-up mixer fitted with paddle attachment, then dough hook.)
3. Place dough in lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Place baking stone or inverted baking sheet on bottom rack of oven to heat. Preheat oven to 500F. (Heat baking stone for 25 minutes before baking; heat baking sheet for 10 minutes.)
5. Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead several times. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Form each piece into ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
6. Dust pizza peel or large spatula with semolina. In small bowl, combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; stir briskly with fork. In another small bowl, mix sesame, caraway, fennel seeds and salt. Working with two pieces dough at a time, on lightly floured surface, use rolling pin to roll dough into 7- to 7 1/2-inch circle, slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. (Keep remaining dough pieces covered while you are working.) Place dough circles on pizza peel. Brush with egg glaze. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons seed mixture. Using your hands, gently press seeds into dough. Prick dough all over with fork.
7. Working quickly, open oven door, hold pizza peel at slight angle and tip end toward back of baking stone. Give pizza peel a quick jerk, letting one flatbread slide onto baking stone. Immediately, give peel another jerk and let second flatbread slide onto baking stone. Quickly close oven door and bake flatbreads until puffed in places and bottoms are lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Immediately wrap baked flatbreads in kitchen towel to keep soft and warm. While first batch bakes, roll out 2 more dough circles. Continue baking and shaping flatbreads until all dough and seed topping is used.