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Taboon bread (Lafah)

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Taboon bread is a flatbread eaten in the Middle East. It is traditionally baked in a taboon oven. Taboon bread is spread with various toppings or used as a wrapper. It is sold as street food, stuffed with hummus, falafel or shawarma. Variations of taboon bread include:

Left: Taboon bread.

 
  • Laffa or Lafa or Lafah is an Iraqi pita that is of medium thickness, slightly chewy, doesn't tear easily, and is mostly used to wrap shawarma in food stands.
  • Druze pita is paper thin and traditionally spread with Labneh (a white Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese made from cow milk), olive oil, and/or zaatar (a condiment, used in Arab cuisine, made from the dried herbs, mixed together with sesame seeds, and often salt, as well as other spices).
  • Bukharan pita, an oval, thin and crispy flatbread, spiked with cumin seeds. Usually eaten as a snack by Bukharan Jews, along with savory food.

Taboon bread is a staple of Arab Middle Eastern cuisine worldwide, and found in Arabic restaurants. It is used in the popular Palestinian dish musakhan.

Lafah Recipe Ingredients

Equipment

For the Dough:
  • 1 kg. plain white flour
  • 1 tbsp. dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups water
  • a very hot electric or coal grill
  • a large non reactive (plastic, aluminum, or stoneware) bowl
  • a regular dinner sized plate
  • a large lint free cloth

Recipe Cooking and Preparation Method

 

Food Serving Suggestion

 

Lafah can be used for many dishes. It can be a holder for shauarma (thinly sliced roasted meat), or a savory vegetable salad, or sprinkled with cinnamon paste and sugar just as easily.

 

Storage Tips

Lafah should be eaten on the day they are made, for the best taste, but they can be stored in a bag in the freezer for later, after they are cooled.

Lafa vs. Iraqi or Druze Pita

 

Lafah should not be confused for Iraqi or Druze pita. Iraqi and Druze pita are made without yeast. They are "soured" or fermented using the normal chemistry of flour and starch. Iraqi pita is similar in thickness to flour tortillas. Druze pita (also called sagg pita) is very thin and large. Both Iraqi and Druze pita are baked on a convex pan called a taboon, resembling an overturned wok.

 

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