Classic September mood. It doesn’t seem to matter how long it’s been since you were at school, September still feels like the start of a new year and the time to learn something. Last night I finished a yoga class (I know, I’m a stereotype but don’t worry, I can’t even touch my toes yet – more on that later) and I felt the need to achieve something. It was eight o’clock, I was half a glass of wine deep and there was one hour until The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 +1…
and I decided to make bread.
I started small though, and made these flatbreads with falafel and Tom’s slaw. Here’s how to do it:
Serves 2, 1 hour from idea formation to plate
For the flatbreads you’ll need:
100g plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
50ml tepid water
(this is based on the BBC Good Food Quick Flatbreads recipe – thank goodness for googling)
For the falafel you’ll need:
1 small onion
Tin of chickpeas
Shake of cumin
Shake of turmeric
1/2 chilli (depending on the heat and your sense of danger)
1/2 grated carrot
2 tbsp tomato puree
Splash of rapeseed oil to cook
For Tom’s slaw you’ll need:
Little gem lettuce
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
Clove of garlic
Start by making the dough. Mix the flour and the water and then the oil. Knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. That way you know you’re really making bread. Split the dough into two or three balls.
Meanwhile, start the falafel. Finely chop an onion and tip it into a hot pan. Shake in about 1/2 tsp cumin and turmeric and grate in 1/2 a carrot. Making a falafel mix on the heat like this seems to give greater depth of flavour and cut out that raw taste you can sometimes get with falafel. Drain the chickpeas and add to the pan along with chopped chilli and the tomato puree. I like to add tomato puree to recipes like this as a binder instead of egg. That way, it stays vegan and it doesn’t matter that I almost never have eggs in the house. Sprinkle in a tbsp flour and mash the mixture together with a potato masher. Mash until the chickpeas are mostly broken up and the mix starts to come together.
Split your mix into about 8 balls and put into a small non stick pan with a dash of rapeseed oil.
Now make the slaw. Tom made this one and it’s the perfect acidity to complement the falafel. Slice your lettuce into strips and grate the carrot into a bowl. Mix up your dressing of olive oil, cider vinegar, crushed garlic, pepper and salt. Toss the dressing into the slaw, adding a little at a time until it’s all lightly coated. Sesame seeds or flax seeds would be great in this.
Give the falafels a turn when they are browning on one side.
Back to the flatbreads. I was about 45 minutes in at this point so no pressure. Roll out one of the balls of dough onto a floured surface. Heat a large non stick pan on medium and rub with a piece of kitchen towel and a little oil.
Place your first flatbread onto the pan and leave it alone. They take a couple of minutes on each side. I majorly overdid the first one and it turned into a crisp-bread. It wouldn’t bend so would have been useless as a wrap but it was so good dipped into chilli oil! See:
Flip your flatbread when it’s puffed up a little and starting to slightly brown. Load it up with your slaw and falafel. Add more salady bits if you feel fancy – I added sliced radishes and chilli.
Feel smug and go to watch bake off.
Gotta go, my pizza dough has finished proving.