Ottawa·Recipe

Make your own Yemeni-inspired flatbread

Here's a version of the tasty flatbread at Bank Street restaurant 3 Cents Squared that you can try at home.

The people at 3 Cents Squared share their 'tweaked' version

Yemeni-inspired pan bread with two different toppings from Ottawa's 3 Cents Squared. (Supplied)

Magdi Bazara believes his version of Yemeni pan bread could one day be just as popular as BeaverTails.

Bazara has been serving his take on the dish at 3 Cents Squared on Bank Street since this spring, and plans are already in the works for a second location near the University of Ottawa.

That new restaurant is expected to open at 65 Templeton St. at the end of October.

While he wouldn't share his special recipe for the flatbread he serves at the restaurant, Bazara did give CBC Radio's All In A Day some tips for creating an at-home version that can be dressed with savoury or sweet toppings. 

Magdi Bazara grills traditional Yemeni flatbread at 3 Cents Squared on Bank Street. (Supplied)

Yemeni-inspired flatbread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour.
  • ¾ cup water.
  • 1 tsp. salt.
  • ⅓ cup melted butter.
Magdi Bazara, owner of 3Cents² restaurant 14:11

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients in a large bowl until you get a nice dough, adding a bit of flour if it's too sticky and a few drops of water if it's too dry. 
  2. Knead until the dough is nice and elastic and doesn't stick to your fingers or your countertop.
  3. Divide the dough in half, roll each half into a ball and flatten each slightly. 
  4. Brush some of the melted butter on top,
  5. Cover the slightly flattened balls of dough with parchment paper and let them rest for about 20 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
  6. Stretch the dough with your hands or use a rolling pin to get it as thin as possible without tearing.
  7. Brush some more butter on top, then fold the dough over and add butter on to the other side.
  8. Fold each long flattened dough ball in half, and repeat the folding until you have what resembles a square-shaped folded tea towel.
  9. Let the dough rest again for about 20 minutes.
  10. After the second rest, flatten the dough again using a rolling pin.
  11. Transfer the dough to a flat grilling surface or a large frying pan and heat it until il it puffs up and turns a light brown colour. Flatten out the air pockets as they form. Alternatively, bake the dough on a pizza stone at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about five minutes, being careful not to burn the bread.
  12. Serve plain with salt, with your favourite pizza toppings, or with sweet toppings like Nutella or brown sugar and lemon. 

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