Lebanese Lebanese Mountain Bread Recipe

Ingredients :

1 tbs dry yeast (1 pkg)
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
15 cup white flour unbleached
4 1/2 tbs salt
5 cup warm water for more nutritious bread, add: 1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk to water and beat well
3 tbs olive oil

Method :

* Proof the yeast by dissolving the yeast & sugar in 1 cup lukewarm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
* Mix 14 cups flour and salt together in a large bowl, reserving 1 cup flour for kneading. Add 5 cups lukewarm water, oil, and the yeast mixture all at once to flour. Stir with wooden spoon or with hands until dough sticks together. Turn out onto a floured board or cloth and knead very well.
* Gradually add the reserved flour to keep dough from sticking. Kneading may take 10 to 15 minutes. Dough is ready when it feels elastic; bubbles will break on the surface when you form it into a ball.
* Place in a greased bowl and cover with a dry cloth. let dough rise in a warm place, undisturbed, until it doubles in size (about 2 hours). Punch dough down. Oil hands and divide dough into 25 to 30 balls the size of small oranges. Again, cover them with a dry cloth and place in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes.
* Preheat oven to 450 degrees. if you have an electric oven, set it to broil at 450 degrees, placing a baking sheet on the lowest rack. then turn a Chinese wok upside down so it rests on the baking sheet. For a gas oven, place an upside-down wok on the floor of the oven.
* Combine 3/4 cup cornmeal with the same amount of flour. Flatten each ball of dough and dip both sides in the cornmeal mixture. Place them like pancakes in a stack, separating them with wax paper. Make five piles of 6 each (more than 6 may cause the piles to topple over). Cover all the stacks with a cloth so they don’t dry out.
* Roll out each pancake until it is as thin and round as possible. Then pick up dough and begin to stretch it by flipping it back & forth between your hands. A pizza technique of throwing it up in the air, catching it, and flattening the edges of the circle with your thumb and forefinger works fine.
* Make a fist with one hand and place dough on top of fist.Then turn dough in circles with other hand, pulling on edges so they get as thin as possible.The shape will be an irregular 14 to 16 inch circle unless you are a wizard at circles.
* Drape dough on top of hot wok.Bake 30 to 60 seconds, until lightly browned and bubbly. Peel off and place on baking sheet. Run under broiler for 5 to 10 seconds until dark brown.
* Remove to board, spray with water (see Note) and cover with damp cloth.
* Stack new breads on top of old ones. Cover finished stack with damp tea towels. When bread is pliable (after 2-3 hours), fold each in quarters and package in plastic.
* NOTE: Traditionally the bread is not dampened at all. Thin spots are crisp and brittle. Finished breads are simply stacked on top of each other.

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