Yemeni Bread

My Favourite BreadsYemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.com

I saw this video on you tube and I knew I wanted to make Yemeni Bread. That day I had planned to make some roast chicken and potatoes for dinner. The chicken had already been washed and trussed, and rubbed with herbs and spices, so this part of the plan could not be changed, but the potatoes were still sitting in a bag, in the cold room, so they were hurriedly tossed aside. That night we had roast chicken and Yemeni Bread. A strange combination perhaps but the excitement and expectation, overrode everything.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comIn Somali, this bread is called Sabayad, and is traditionally served with beef stew, dhal or beans. In Tunisia it’s called Mlawi but they use bread flour and semolina to make it. I opted to use salted butter to make the bread but you can also use vegetable oil, ghee or olive oil. It was a little on the oily side but very delicious and addictive. The next time I make it, I would still use butter, because it gives the best taste, in my opinion. If you ever decide to make the bread please watch the video first. I would like to thank Catherine from shebayemenifood.com for posting the video on you-tube. 

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comMix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add almost all the water and olive oil and mix to a soft almost sticky dough. (I had only 3 tablespoons of water left).

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comTurn on a floured surface and knead for 15 minutes until smooth and elastic (if sticky add a little flour at time). If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook it will take 10 minutes. This stage is very important because the dough has to be elastic.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comThe dough should be smooth and elastic after kneading.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comDivide the dough into five equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes. (The dough weighed 1037g so I divided it into 5 pieces of about 200g each.)-this resting stage is very important.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comTake one rested dough, and roll out into a large thin transparent oblong (you can either use a rolling pin or stretch it out using your hands, whichever you find easy. (my oblong was about 18 x 12 inches). Sprinkle the melted butter all over the surface of the dough.(This was the first one I rolled out, quite crooked LOL. The others were better but I forgot to take pictures and all this was happening at night).

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comThen fold one third of one side, lengthwise, towards the middle. Sprinkle butter on the folded side.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comFold the remaining side towards the middle and sprinkle some butter on top.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comThen fold the long strip into thirds. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.  (It’s important that the dough actually rests for 15 minutes).

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.com

Repeat the procedure with the rest of the dough.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.com

Meanwhile preheat a cast iron griddle or a heavy based non-stick pan, to medium high heat (I just used my T-Fal non-stick pan and it worked just fine). Roll one of the rested doughs into an oblong (mine was 9 x 8 inches-the size will depend on the size of your pan). Brush one side with butter, place the buttered side on the pan and brush the top with butter, too.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comCook the bread on each side for about 3-5 minutes or until it turns golden brown. If it puffs up, don’t worry just press it with the spatula.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comMine really puffed out and it was exciting to see the bread turning out exactly as I’d seen it on you-tube.

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comThere we go. My very first Yemeni bread ever. I was now the proud owner of a Yemeni bread…..

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comThe proud owner of a second Yemeni Bread (LOL)

Yemeni Bread myfavouritepastime.comI served mine with the roasted chicken I had earlier planned to make before Yemeni bread interrupted my well-layed out schedule. Have a wonderful week my friend. Happy Yemeni Bread eating!!!!

Yemeni Bread

Preparation time: 40 minutes; Standing time: 45 minutes;  Cooking time: 40 minutes; Makes: 5 Flatbreads

Ingredients

  • 600g ( 21oz) all-purpose flour (original recipe called for Bread Flour, Canadian all purpose is high in gluten, so works fine)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I added 1½ teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups (500ml) water (I added almost all except 3 tablespoons)
  • 125g (¼ stick) butter, melted, for brushing and cooking

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add almost all the water and olive oil and mix to a soft almost sticky dough. (I had only 3 tablespoons of water left). Turn on a floured surface and knead for 15 minutes until smooth and elastic (if sticky add a little flour at time). (If using electric mixer knead for 10 minutes)
  2. Divide the dough into five equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes. (The dough weighed 1037g so I divided it into 5 pieces of about 200g each.)
  3. Take one rested dough, and roll out into a large thin transparent oblong (you can either use a rolling pin or stretch it out using your hands, whichever you find easy. (my oblong was about 18 x 12 inches). Sprinkle the melted butter all over the surface of the dough.
  4. Then fold one third of one side, lengthwise, towards the middle. Sprinkle butter on the folded side. Fold the remaining side towards the middle and sprinkle some butter on top.
    Then fold the long strip into thirds. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the doughs.
  5. Meanwhile preheat a cast iron griddle or a heavy based non-stick pan, to medium high heat (I just used my T-Fal non-stick pan and it worked just fine). Roll one of the rested doughs into an oblong (mine was 9 x 8 inches-the size will depend on the size of your pan). Brush one side with butter, place the buttered side on the pan and brush the top with butter, too.
  6. Cook the bread on each side for about 3-5 minutes or until it turns golden brown. If it puffs up, don’t worry just press it with the spatula.
  7. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the dough. Serve with???….I leave it to you to decide.

myfavouritepastime.com

Own notes: 900g flour + 3 cups less 4 tablespoons.

40 thoughts on “Yemeni Bread

  1. I can’t wait to make this bread. I, too, had never heard of it. It looks simply delicious. I’m going to ‘pin’ it – but I’m also gonna print it out so I’ll remember to make this soon. How’s your autumn going so far?

    1. I made it the first time I posted and yesterday I made 12 breads for dinner. Everybody loved them. I hope you find time to make them. Have a wonderful week!
      Liz

  2. You did it again! Surprised me with this wonderful looking bread! I am going to try it! I wonder if it would be an interesting addition to Thanksgiving? Invited out but I’m brining veggies and buns! What do you think Liz, would this work with turkey? Can you believe summer is behind us already? The good news is, we are finally getting some rain. Hope your week is going well!

    1. I had an early thanksgiving dinner because there are other dinners scheduled for Sunday and guess what I made with the turkey? Yemeni Bread of course. Everybody loved it. I ate one whole bread and now I can hardly lie comfortably in bed..LOL. The bread is addictive. It has certainly become one of our family’s favourites!!! I wish you a happy thanksgiving, Sandy. And thanks so much for your kindness.
      Liz

    1. This bread is addictive. I can’t stop thinking about it. It tastes so damn good. I don’t know what to say!!! Thanks for popping by and enjoy the rest of the week!
      iz

    1. Yes it’s not difficult to make. I am not sure gluten free flour could give the same texture because the dough needs to be very elastic to enable paper thin rolling. Let me know what happens. Have a pleasant week!
      Liz

    1. This was my first time and I must say it tasted really nice. It’s addictive!!! Let me look at the link right now. I love all kinds of breads!
      Liz

  3. Oh those look so yummy! Butter is my favorite flavor! I can see my cast iron skillet pawing at the ground with excitement to make these breads!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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