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baking

cardamom flatbread

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
My husband lays next to me, whispering, ‘I’d give all we have to make sure we are always connected: you and I, and us and them.’ I find his hand in the dark and do not let it go.
This earthly Victory | does not have wings: | she wears bread on her shoulders instead. | Courageously she soars, | setting the world free, | like a baker | born aloft on the wind. – Pablo Neruda
cardamom flatbread
This recipe is adapted from The Modern Vegetarian. I didn’t change much; this bread is so delicious I didn’t want to really tinker with it. I highly recommend serving this warm, straight from the pan. It can be reheated, but it really is much better right away; although, I’ve found toasting it to be a good alternative, too. Once the dough is rolled out in circles, you can refrigerate it in this stage for 24 hours, which puts this in the make-ahead bread category. Just cover with some plastic wrap while it’s chilling. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you can finely chop the seeds with a chef’s knife [which is what I did]. And also: this bread. THIS BREAD! It’s so good. I love it plain, but brushed with olive oil is wonderful. I also think it would be amazing with this Braised Leeks + Muscovado Lentils from the Spouted Kitchen.
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water 
3 cups all purpose flour
seeds from 16 cardamom pods, crushed in a mortar and pestle [see note]
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for cooking
 
Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup water and set aside until foaming, about 10 minutes. Put the flour, cardamom, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer, and whisk together. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture, and pour into the flour. 
 
Using a dough hook, mix dough on medium low for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. [If dough is looking too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together, but is clearing the sides of the bowl.] Place a little flour on a work surface and gently knead dough a few times. Oil a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours. 
 
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 balls. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Place rolled out circles on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. 
 
Preheat a grill pan [or cast iron pan] and brush each circle with a little olive oil. Lay the circle oil-side down in the pan, and cook over medium heat, about 1 minute, or until golden brown and small bubbles rise from the surface. Turn over and cook the other side. Keep flatbreads warm while cooking the remaining.
 
 
  • Reply
    Sneh | Cook Republic
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 5:46 am

    So few words, yet they strike a chord! Gorgeous post and pictures. I am bookmarking to try this. Thanks!

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Thank you so much! Let me know what you think. 🙂

  • Reply
    Junglefrog
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 5:50 am

    What a beautiful, beautiful post! Gorgeous pics and I love that you used only black & white. Perfect! Which is also true for the bread of course.

  • Reply
    FrenchFoodie
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Lovely photographs, those little hands… A recipe on my to do list for sure. (love Pablo Neruda too.)

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      I am so smitten with Pablo Neruda. He’s amazing. 🙂

  • Reply
    kankana
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Pictures speaks louder than words and this post says it all. Beautiful .. enjoyed every bit of it!

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Little hands, big heart. Stunning.

  • Reply
    london bakes
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Sarah, this is a gorgeous post. I don’t really have any words because I just want to keep going back and looking at the pictures and getting lost in the story that they tell.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you so much Kathryn. I get teary-eyed looking at those tiny hands rolling dough. Precious. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelli Abrahamian
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I totally get it. My kids are almost grown. It’s why we are making the big move to CA (Half of them are there already) This post is the essence of what is important in life. The bread looks wonderful too. You do such a great job.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you, Kelli. I appreciate your support so much.

  • Reply
    la domestique
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Beautiful! Cardamom is one of my favorite spices, and I look forward to trying this bread.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you! I love cardamom so much. Let me know what you think. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sacha
    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    The sentiments in this post are so beautiful. What a lovely family you have. And the bread sounds warm and wonderful. It would be such a great base for so many things. I hope to try it soon.

  • Reply
    Jeanine
    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Your photos are just so precious! This sounds delicious, I love cardamom…

  • Reply
    Melody
    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Sarah, so much tenderness in your words and photos. Love.

  • Reply
    erin @ yummy supper
    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Beautiful post – all of it – words, food, photos and feeling.

  • Reply
    nicole
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Love this love this LOVE this. xo

  • Reply
    Cookie and Kate
    Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Love the sentiment and all those little hands!

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