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What Is Lavash?
Lavash is a traditional thin, unleavened, Armenian flatbread made in a tandoor oven. It is also popular in Turkey, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries. It’s typically made with common ingredients like flour, water, and salt. Lavash is served with hummus, baba ganoush, and other dips, and used as a spread in wraps and sandwiches.
What Is the Origin of Lavash?
Lavash is a bread of Armenian origin, and is considered the country’s national bread. The bread is also popular in the Caucasus region, and in Iran and Turkey. In 2014, Lavash was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with Armenia’s Foreign Ministry announcing that the “preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia.”
How to Make Traditional Lavash (Armenian Flatbread)
Traditional Armenian lavash is baked in a tandoor oven, giving it a unique taste and texture: bubbly, soft, and crunchy, and infused with wood smoke. The dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a clay oven. The dough adheres to the heated surface of the tandoor oven, cooks very quickly, and is peeled off when done. In Armenian villages, dried lavash is stored in stacked in layers; when the time comes to rehydrate the bread, it is sprinkled with water to make it soft again.
How to Serve Lavash Bread
- A substitute for naan and pita bread: Dunk pieces of soft lavash into your favorite appetizer dips like hummus, baba ganoush, and labneh.
- Serve with curries and stews: Lavash is perfect tearing up and scooping spicy curries and savory stews.
- Greek veggie wrap: Use lavash to make a vegan roll-up filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and tahini sauce.
- Turkish kebab: Sliced meat, such as lamb, beef, or chicken from a Turkish doner kebab can be stuffed into a wrap with tomato, lettuce, cabbage, onions, and sauce.
- Falafel wrap: Use lavash to make a falafel wrap with hummus, olives, tomatoes, and lettuce.
- Lavash pizza: If you love thin crust pizza, you can use lavash as a pizza base. Top with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and freshly torn basil.
- Quesadilla: For an easy low carb snack, try using lavash as a base instead of tortillas for quesadillas. They can be filled with shredded cheese, chicken, pulled pork, or mushrooms.
- Spiced crackers: Lavash can also be baked until crispy to make crackers. Brush the tops with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sumac, or za’atar spice.
Easy Homemade Lavash Recipe
Prep Time30 min
Total Time55 min
Cook Time25 min
This easy recipe for lavash is best enjoyed straight out of the oven while it’s warm and soft. Lavash can be served with your favorite dips and used for wraps and other sandwiches.
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, water, and sugar. Stir until yeast is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add yeast mixture to form a dough.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead dough for 10-12 minutes, until dough forms into a ball.
- Place the ball of dough in a large oiled bowl. Coat the dough with additional oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature in a warm place for 1 to 1 ½ hours until the dough doubles in size.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release air. Continue to knead it for 5 minutes.
- Divide dough into 8 separate pieces and roll into balls. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll a ball of dough into a thin rectangle about 12 x 10-inches. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Transfer dough to parchment lined sheet pans and puncture tops with a fork. Brush dough with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and onto a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Eat fresh lavash while still warm.
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