Becca and I love to go to 15 Church, a local restaurant here in Saratoga Springs, NY. Best food in Saratoga – and the staff is like family. The other day, they served a semolina crisp with sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and I think either chia or poppy seeds. These pre-dinner delights were delicate with a fragile crispiness and flirtatious aromatic aftertaste.
Photo © Erik Oppenneer. Used without permission because he’s my big brother.
What follows is my adaptation of Susan’s recipe (which is an adaptation of Anissa Helou’s Sardinian Crackers in Savory Baking from the Mediterranean) and is loosely inspired by Chef Brady Duhame’s delicious 15 Church hors d’œuvre.
And let me say this at the outset: don’t make this recipe.
Why on earth would I say that, you ask? Because this is a learning post, silly. I took one swing at the old ball and although it wasn’t quite a foul, it didn’t get me to the first base just yet. Sure, the result looked pretty…
…but nothing like the super thin speciman pictured above (or for that matter, like the ones pictured on Susan’s blog which more closely resemble those from 15 Church). The secret to achieving that level of thinness is to use a pasta roller. I used a rolling pin (Mom’s old rolling pin!) which made for a much thicker flatbread:
Here is my first pass at my own variation of this recipe. It may be that it would be fine if I had just been able to roll the dough thinner, but until I can test against that hypothesis, I don’t want this to be considered a finished recipe.
Sesame Semolina Flatbread (Draft)
Becca and I love to go to 15 Church, a restaurant here in Saratoga Springs. The other day, they served a semolina crisp with sesame seeds, caraway seeds. Here is an attempt at making my own...
- 150 g flour
- 150 g semolina
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon teff
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 170 g lukewarm water
- olive oil for brushing
- coarse Kosher salt for topping
Preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 450F.
Mix flour, semolina, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, teff, and salt in a bowl.
Add water and stir to incorporate into the dry ingredients.
Turn dough onto an unfloured counter and knead for 2-3 minutes.
Cover the dough with a tightly woven towel for 15 minutes.
Knead for another 2 minutes and then cover for 20 more minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 or more pieces and form them into balls.
Cut a piece of parchment paper the approximate size of your baking stone.
Roll a ball of dough through a pasta roller, starting with the thickest setting and adjusting the thickness setting down with each successive pass, to the desired thinness. Alternatively, roll out as thin as possible with a rolling pin (Note: I did this and didn't achieve the thinness I was aiming for).
Place the rolled flatbread on the parchment. Repeat with as many flatbreads as will fit on the parchment.
Brush the flatbreads lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a small pinch of Kosher salt.
Transfer the breads, parchment and all, onto the stone.
Bake until the edges are nicely brown and rippled, and the tops have golden brown patches, about 3 – 6 minutes (depending on thickness).
While one batch is baking, roll out the next batch. Cool on a wire rack. Break into pieces to serve.