Saturday, January 1, 2011

Planning Ahead and Soft Wrap Bread

I totally did not plan on that title rhyming.

Today, in an effort to just get out of the house, we went to a larger city about 45 minutes north of us to run some errands. Did some grocery shopping and exchanged some shoes. We knew that we would be gone during lunch time, so we decided to put some effort into it and pack our lunch ahead of time. Lonnie was so good about making most of the lunch stuff. Even got out the little cooler and packed everything up. One of the biggest surprises for us was that Jack loved having a "picnic in the car!" His attitude was much better than it would have been at a restaurant (he often has trouble with the loud noises and crowds in restaurants). I think this will be even more fun to do as the weather warms up (IF the weather ever warms up!).

For dinner we had some falafels, homemade wrap bread and tzatziki sauce. Delicious! The wrap bread recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs - Mel's Kitchen Cafe. The bread is very easy to make, but it does take up a lot of time. Between the rising, resting, rolling and baking, it takes up most of an afternoon. But, a lot of it is just waiting around. The falafels we used were just from a box mix that you add water too and then fry them. Very, very good.

Here is the bread recipe!

Soft Wrap Bread

(from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

3 to 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup potato buds or flakes (I used potato flakes)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon instant yeast*

Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir until smooth. Lightly cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flakes and 1 cup of the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the slightly cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand or by mixer) to form a soft dough. This dough takes a little bit of time to come together. It may seem that the flour will never fully incorporate into the dough, but it will! Just give it time.

The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour. My dough didn't rise very much, but the bread still turned out fine.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side, until they’re puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out. Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool slightly before storing in a plastic bag. (We ended up keeping ours in our tortilla warmer and it worked great! The bread stayed nice and warm and soft.)

*This recipe works best with instant yeast because it dissolves during the kneading process, so you don’t have to knead liquid into the dough. If you really prefer to use active dry yeast, use only 1 cup boiling water for the initial dough, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, and add this mixture to the dough along with the potato flour mixture.

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  1. I am going to totally have to make that!!!

  2. Picnic in the car! LOVE it! Sometimes it just takes some creative marketing, right? We too have realized how much money we're spending on eating out and are trying to be more conscientious about it, both because of money and because of health (don't even get you started, right?). So I totally support you in this endeavor and will happily benefit from your work to find yummy recipes that please the whole family. Thank you in advance for doing my work for me! Keep putting up links to FB so I can keep up with you. Love to your whole family.

  3. My chili dog was pretty awesome, but the falafel was a million times better!

  4. What is inside the bread, it looks very much like my best friend the Gyro? Thanks for sharing!

  5. It's falafels in the bread. :) (Little balls made from garbanzo beans and seasonings - I just use a box mix.)