Lance Barto, executive chef of Strings, 1700 Humboldt Street, is always playing with his menu, as are most chefs this time of year when the freshness of springtime calls for new ingredients and new dishes.
He's just added kesra, a traditional Moroccan flat bread, to his spring menu, the recipe of which is posted after the jump.
"We are serving a version that is lightly leavened by yeast," says Barto. "In the restaurant, we're grilling the bread and pairing it with our mussel dish, but you could use it for something similar at home, or more simply, it'd be a great vehicle for a dollop of hummus for a snack." Barto adds that you can even use it to make sandwiches, or eat it "straight out of the oven with some fresh butter."
1 pkg active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water to bloom yeast plus 2 cups warm water 1 tsp sugar 4.5 cups all purpose flour 1/3 cup cornmeal plus 1 tbs cornmeal for dusting 4 tsp salt 2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
For topping the bread
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3 tsp toasted white sesame seeds 1 egg white, mixed with one fluid ounce of water
1. Bloom the yeast in warm water (approximately 100 to 105 degrees) with the sugar. The yeast should dissolve and become slightly foamy. 2. After the yeast has begun to foam, add the remaining two cups water and melted butter. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and slowly add into a stand mixer with the wet ingredients. 3. Knead the dough for about five minutes and then form into disks about 8" in diameter. 4. Let the dough rise somewhere slightly warm until it has doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, brush it with your water/egg white mixture, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 5. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and let bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.