This is a classic Middle Eastern style bread that ban be found in almost every French bakery. It is a simple bread that requires butter to be worked into the bread after the first proof. You can prepare this a loaf, buns, or even as a cracker/biscuit. I like to use this recipe for an appetizer cracker. In that instance, roll the dough out very flat (like a thin crust pizza dough) and and use a cookie-cutter to shape the biscuits.
This recipe calls for Oriental butter (beurre oriental), which I tell you how to make. Before starting, make sure you have Raz el Hanut on hand. This is a Middle Eastern spice that can be made, but can be ordered on line as well.
- 260 g Flour (plain or bread, your call)
- 215 g Water
- 5 g Kosher salt
- 3 g dry yeast – or 8 grams fresh yeast
- Oriental Butter
- 100 g Butter
- 4 g Oregano
- 2 g Raz el Hanut
- Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients before starting.
- Mix flour, salt and yeast for one minute at low (speed 1 on stand mixer). Make sure to place the salt at one end of the mixing bowl and the yeast at the other (salt is the enemy of yeast).
- Add the water and continue to mix at low speed (1 on stand mixer) for 5 mins.
- Increase speed to medium (4 on a stand mixer) for 5 more mins.
- First Proof :– place dough in bowl and cover with film. Let rise 30 mins.
- Roll dough out and fold once.
- Place on baking pan, cover with film and put in fridge overnight.
- Make Oriental Butter: Melt butter on low heat. Add oregano and Raz el hanut. Spread out on silplat (or parchment paper) and put in fridge to harden.
- Second Proof: Roll dough out to a size equal to the width of your butter and twice the length. Place butter at one end and fold the uncovered part of the dough over the butter. Fold dough again in the opposite direction.
- Shape dough: for loaf leave in rectangle shape. For buns, use pizza cutter or knife to cut dough into equal pieces, then shape into bun by working sides into a disk. For crackers – roll dough 10 1/8th thickness, then use a cookie cutter to cut out the disk.
- Place dough on a lined baking sheet, cover with a towel and let rise at 26 deg C for 60 mins.
- With 15 mins to go, preheat oven to 230 deg C. (450 F). For convection oven lower temp to 200 C (390 F).
- Bake – For loaf ~30 mins (20 mins fan)
- Buns ~20 mins (15 mins fan)
- Crackers ~15 mins (10 mins fan).
- All times are approximate and depend on elevation and your oven. Keep an eye on the dough as it cooks, especially the crackers.