These Will Brighten Up a Meal. That’s For Sure.
Get a load of these flatbreads. I decided I wanted to make flatbreads with beet juice. First and foremost, I love beets and thought their flavor would be great, but I was also very curious as to how the color would translate. Well, as you can see, the color is bright and beautiful.
I wanted to make certain the beet flavor would be discernible in the bread and after carefully tasting the beet juice, I decided that pink peppercorns are a perfect enhancement. I actually made these twice. The first time I added 1 1/2 teaspoons of finely ground pink peppercorns *. The second time I used a full 2 teaspoons and that did the trick. I also added sumac * to keep the flavor bright and make sure it didn’t fall flat. The same routine held true. The first time I added 1 teaspoon. The second time I doubled it and it was spot on.
I went with a little Greek yogurt and olive oil in the dough. I whisked it into the beet juice, along with the pink peppercorns and sumac, and was good to go.
While the dough was rising, I got to work on my raita. I wanted to serve it with the flatbreads because I knew they’d be great for scooping up the creamy yogurt. I first grated a carrot and stirred it into the yogurt. I really like the texture a finely grated carrot gives to raita. It adds body. For flavor, I added ground dried black lime *, nigella seeds *, chipotle chili flakes *, salt, and olive oil. I then bloomed cumin seeds in hot olive oil and stirred those into the yogurt. I’ve left it as an option, but I added 1/8 teaspoon hing/asafoetida * and really liked the depth of flavor it added to the raita. I then seeded a pomegranate, chopped a little fresh mint and stirred them into the chilled raita right before I served it.
Now, getting back to the flatbreads: after about 80 minutes the dough had doubled in bulk.
I divided the dough into 8 equal pieces, shaped them into balls and got on with rolling them out into 8 inch circles. I like using a 12 inch dowel * for rolling out small pieces of dough. I think it’s much easier than using a normal size rolling pin. It’s an inexpensive tool and comes in handy whenever I have small pieces of dough to work with.
Milk Street has a technique I like in which they stack each rolled out ball of dough between sheets of parchment. It makes it easy to place the raw dough in the skillet and then simply peel off the piece of parchment. This way, the shape doesn’t go all wonky like it can when you plop a piece of rolled out dough into the skillet. It only took one minute of cooking for each side of the flatbreads in order for them to puff up and brown. I then brushed them with a little olive oil, sprinkled them with parsley and served them up.
Friends, these are absolutely delicious. The beet flavor is there, but it’s not all powerful. They’re simply more interesting than normal flatbreads. And the raita was the perfect accompaniment. The pop of tart/sweet pomegranate arils was delightful. These were great with roast chicken and I also think they’d be outstanding served with lamb chops or lamb kebabs. And seeing as I have some of the flatbreads stashed in my freezer, I plan on trying out that combo soon.
Here’s a little note about beet juice. I buy Biotta brand because It’s the only brand I’ve found that is 100% beet juice. The ones that also contain lemon juice don’t have the full rich flavor of pure beets. I’m sure there must be other brands available that are pure beet juice, but this is the only one I can get locally.