I love grazing food...the sort of food that you put on the table at the beginning of the evening and people just help themselves to. I also love nibbles, dips and platters. They look amazing, tasty and generous and allow you to sit back and enjoy drinks with your friends rather than running backwards and forwards. Faffing....Stew loves it when I faff 😉 ....."Will you just sit down!!!"
This evening nibble is perfect for preparing in advance, making it great when friends come over. The breads freeze well, the dukkah stores well in a sealed container and the oil is quick to prepare (or just use extra virgin olive oil) for those impromptu, 'oh stay for a drink' moments.
Dukkah, is an Egyptian spice and nut mix, that is commonly eaten with flat breads or served over cut tomatoes. I love it with bread and oil, but also like to dip hard boiled eggs into it. Not sure that is at all authentic but it does taste good 😉
I visited Egypt when I was 17, my Dad and I went for a weeks scuba diving holiday in the Red Sea. I have four resounding memories of the food during that week, the flat breads, 'dinner' style breakfasts, the amazing selection of salad and grilled meats on offer and a very scary drive in a taxi van, with no door, to eat the most delicious pizza on a roof top terrace. These little flat breads were always on offer, I never saw them being cooked but I know they are traditionally baked in a clay oven, that isn't something I can recreate here, although I suspect a pizza oven may give you a similar effect. But I don't have one of them either 😉 so will stick with my method, which I think works very well.
The garlic oil is great and turns dipping any bread into oil a treat. (I love bread dipped in oil 😀 ) Although tasty the garlic oil isn't essential....especially if you aren't making your own as shop bought garlic oil has a strange metallic edge. A good quality olive oil, straight from the bottle works well. Lemon oil is also a good option. I only make the oil in small quantities to be used on the day it is made, as I read an article about home-made garlic oil and the risk of botulism. Before I read that I used to make it and store it for months.... 😳
For the Dukkah
- 100g almonds
- 30g peanuts (unsalted)
- 80g sesame seeds
- 3 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Place the almonds in a food processor and grind to a very rough consistency. Add the peanuts and blitz until the almonds are quite fine and the peanuts are chopped.
- Mix the nuts with the sesame seeds and spices. Add the pepper and chilli to taste.
For the Bread
- 1 teaspoons dry yeast
- 300ml lukewarm water
- 300g whole wheat flour
- ½ tbsp salt
- 1 tablespoon oil (plus more to grease the bowl)
- Mix together the water and yeast with 150g of the flour set aside for 15 minutes. (Best to do this in a large bowl)
- Add the oil to your yeast mix and stir gently.
- Add the remaining flour a little bit at a time, string after every addition. By the end you should find the mixture is stiff and hard to stir.
- Transfer the mixture to a board and knead until smooth.
- Pour a small amount of oil into the bowl and place the dough back in, turn it it has a coating of oil over it.
- Cover with a tea-towel or cling wrap and leave to prove for 2 hours.
- Punch back your dough, transfer to your board and cut in to 8 equal pieces (I do this by cutting it in half, then cutting each half in half and so on until I have 8 pieces)
- Flatten each ball of dough into a rough circle (about half a cm thick) and leave to rest whilst the oven heats up.
- Pre-heat your oven to the hottest setting and place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
- Place 4 breads (or how ever many you can fit on your sheet) into the oven and cook for 4 minutes until puffed up. Repeat until all your breads are cooked.
- At this point you can freeze them, well wrapped, for up to 3 months. I just defrost and re-heat in the toaster.
- Or just cut in half and serve.
For The Oil
- 125 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- Place the garlic and oil in a pan and gently heat the oil for 2 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool.
- Serve on day of preparation.
Alternatively if you are looking for a quick garlic oil, crush the garlic directly into cold oil and serve immediately. I would suggest adding the garlic one clove at a time as the flavour will be much stronger with this method..