If you fancy a flatbread with a difference, try making a traditional Somalian Canjeera (Lahoh). Made with three different flours, Lahoh is a four-step process: making a starter, making and proving the dough, preparing sharaba (tangzhong) and finally cooking! Canjeera flatbread can be eaten both with savoury dishes and as a pancake topped with butter or honey.
For the Starter (or use sourdough - details in text above):
20gwhole wheat flour
¼tspyeastdried, active or instant
For Canjeera (Lahoh) Dough:
85gfine polenta (cornmeal)
For Tangzhong (Sharaba):
To Make the Starter:
Three days before you plan to make the Canjeera (Lahoh) flatbreads, make the starter. Place plain flour, whole wheat flour, yeast and water in a bowl and mix well to ensure there are no lumps in the batter. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for 3 days. By the end of the fermenting process, the mixture will smell slightly sour and may have brown liquid separated on top of the mixture.
To Make the Dough:
Mix the fermented starter, polenta, plain flour, salt and yeast. Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. Depending on the type of polenta (cornmeal) you are using, you may need to add another splash of water if your dough is too firm. Cover the kneaded dough and leave to prove for 1 hour.
To Make Tangzhong (Sharaba):
Whilst the dough proves, make the sharaba. Add flour to a small saucepan. Turn the heat on low-medium and gradually add water stirring continuously to prevent lumps (like you would when making a roux).
Keep cooking the flour until you arrive at a smooth paste (thick cream consistency). Take off the heat and let it cool down slightly.
Knead the tangzhong into the dough. Then add 100 ml of warm water and beat until you arrive at a thin crepe-like batter.
Cover it with a tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes. You will know it is ready when lots of small bubbles appear on the surface. Don't mix it again from then on.
Cooking Canjeera (Lahoh):
Heat a small round baking stone, cast iron skillet or a heavy based frying pan on medium heat. Brush lighly with some odourless oil.
Add a large ladle to the pan and swirl the batter in a circular motion to cover the surface. Cook until the batter is dry on the top and you can see lots of tiny holes. There's no need to flip it. Canjeera is cooked on one side only.
Repeat with the rest of the batter. Enjoy Canjeera (Lahoh) with savoury dishes or as a pancake with some butter and honey!