Bolani

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Bolani

Bolani

Bolani is a delicious flaky flat bread. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with a man called Billal in the Oakland Farmers’ Market near San Francisco. His East West Gourmet company makes breads, relishes, and dips from his native Afghanistan. The recipes here and on pp154–155 are authentic street food specials available at small stalls, cafés, and markets for generations. Every time I make this flat bread I think of Billal’s generosity. When I asked for his card he just gave me another bag of flat bread, saying cheerily that it had his number on the front.
Ingredients

– Makes 6–8.
– 4 cups all-purpose flour.
– 1 tsp salt.
– 3 eggs, lightly beaten.
– ⅔ cup olive oil plus extra for cooking.

Instructions

Step 1: Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the eggs, olive oil, and 1 cup water. Bring together to make a ball of dough. Knead on a floured work surface for 10–15 minutes until very soft and elastic. Roll the dough into balls each roughly the size of a tennis ball. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Oil the work surface and spread out one of the balls of dough, gently pulling the edges to stretch it as thin and wide as possible, as if you are making a strudel. Dust the surface with a little flour, and fold the pastry over and over to make a pleated fan. Roll up this pleated piece of dough to make a curled ball. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Let rest, covered with a damp cloth, for another 15 minutes.
Step 3: Heat a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Use your hands to pat a curled ball of dough into a circle about 8in (20cm) in diameter. Add a little oil to the pan, and cook the flat disc of dough, turning once, so it is golden brown on each side. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Serve warm, accompanied by Roast Pumpkin Paste and Carrot.