I almost hugged that piece of bread when I saw it rising correctly and looking like the Egyptian baladi bread. It was such an excitement as if I won a lottery even when I never play it anyway. OK, maybe that is a bit of exaggeration but you have no idea how many times I followed recipes, videos and yet failed to get this bread right. I was always running in one of 2 problems:
- Bread is not rising with the 2 sides are stuck together
- and/or brown wheat is taking over all the flavors of the bread
I learnt so many things about my mistakes while trying to bake the baladi bread. Here are some of the things I learnt:
- Make sure the yeast is bubbling very well before using.
- Let the bread rise and take its time to rise, do not rush the process. I learnt patience is the key.
- Use more white flour than the wheat flour if you like the lighter color and flavors like me. Some people use all whole wheat and I did not like that flavor.
- Do not use the oven. We will use the stove top instead.
- We will need a hot pan and a hand grill.
- The pan is used to seal the 2 sides of the bread, 15 seconds only each side. If it stays longer, the bread might not rise.
- The grill is used to finish the bread cooking and make it rise with the 2 sides of it not to stick together.
- Make sure the heat is high on the hand grill, then control it while the bread is rising not to get the bread burnt. Technique is in video below.
I really hope it works for you. If not, please let me know what your problem was in a message or comment.
1 1/2 cup white flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (P.S., I like the baladi bread not too dark, so I use more of white flour, you can switch the ratio in the future if you like the baladi more brownish with whole wheat flavors)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 cup to 1 cup of very warm water
Sprinkle the dry yeast on the top of 1/2 cup of the warm water. Sprinkle the sugar (1/4 teaspoon) as well and set aside.
In a mixing bowl sift the white flour.
Add the wheat flour to the white flour and the salt then mix them together.
Add little by little of warm water, not too much. I think you might need a max of 1 cup of warm water.
While mixing add the honey.
The dough has to be soft but not sticky to your fingers.
If sticky, do not panic, just add more wheat flour and knead more.
Now, in a bowl brushed with some corn oil, add the dough and cover with plastic wrap.
Place the bowl in dark warm place for an hour.
After an hour, divide the dough into about 5 pieces and cover again with plastic wrap for 1 more hour to rise again.
This next step is optional but if you are a picky baladi eater, man, you get to do it! Sift some wheat flour in a bowl. Do not use that white flour in the bowl, but use those brown flakes to flour the surface with while flattening the dough. Use a lot of it to give this baladi bread that correct rough feeling.
If you do not want to do that, just flour the surface with wheat flour before flattening the dough.
Exact steps to get the bread cooked are:
- On high heat, place the pan to be really hot.
- Put the hand grill on the other stove top on high heat.
- Take a piece of dough and flatten it with your roller over some wheat flour. Make it thin in your first trial. When you become comfortable with this recipe, you can play around with the thickness to make it fuller.
- Place the flat dough on the hot pan for 10 seconds. Now flip on the other side for 10 seconds.
- Move it to the hand grill and be careful with heat control.
- There needs to be a big space between the bread and the fire as shown in the video. So, I put the hand grill even over the stove metal piece. I want to get it REALLY hot.
- As soon as the bread starts to rise, lower the heat a bit and flip on the other side.
Enjoy and when it gets a bit cool, cover or place in Ziploc. Best with fol midames or some feta cheese with tomatoes and cucumber