Friday, May 9, 2014
ARMENIAN PEDA BREAD
I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California and had the privileged of knowing many Armenian families as neighbors, school friends and in the population in general. Wonderful people and great food that they brought from the old country. I clearly remember the day, as a little girl, that I ate some yummy baklava found on the dessert section of a school pot luck. My first taste of this sweet treat and it seemed very exotic to me.
You can find Peda (do not confuse with the popular and easy to find pita bread) in restaurants and specialty stores in the Fresno area. Thank you George for our visit to George's Shish Kebab in Fresno. Oh and don't let me forget to mention pilaf, all so good.
When my boys were growing up I made two kinds of bread (because they were easy) Sally Lunn and Peda bread. You can make this bread in large rounds or smaller rounds. We make a BIG Peda burger using one big round of bread.
It really is quite simple, just a few ingredients, olive oil, salt, milk, water, flour and yeast.
The recipe calls for mixing the first few ingredients in the mixer and then adding the rest of the flour and mixing by hand but I use the dough hook on my mixer instead of by hand and find that much easier.
After kneading the bread for five minutes you just wrap in plastic and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Once it has rested then you make two loaves and put in the fridge for 2-24 hours. That's it except for an egg wash on the top, some sesame seeds and ready to bake.
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 3/4 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups unsifted A/P flour
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
In the large bowl of your electric mixer, combine yeast and warm water, stirring to blend: let soften about 5 minutes, then stir in milk, sugar, salt, and three tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 cups of flour and beat at medium speed for five minutes. Remove beaters, and with a heavy spoon work in 2 1/2 cups more flour (at this point I use my dough hook). Spread the remaining 1/2 cup flour on a board; turn dough onto it. Knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic feeling.
If you want to make the dough by hand, stir in 5 1/2 cups flour; knead dough, in the remaining 1/2 cup flour, for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Cover dough with clear plastic film and let rest 20 minutes. Knead on lightly floured board to collapse air bubbles, then pinch off 2 small portions of dough, each 1/2 cup size, and divide large piece of dough in half. Knead each portion into a smooth ball.
To make each loaf, flatten the large piece of dough on a greased baking sheet into a flat found cake; poke a hole in the center, and with your fingers pulling in opposition, make a 4 inch-diameter hole; flatten the dough rim to make it 10 inches in diameter. Place one of the small balls of dough in the center and flatten gently to fill the hole. Brush lightly with olive oil; repeat to make the second loaf.
Cover dough with clear plastic film and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove loaf or loaves from refrigerator, uncover, and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Brush each loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sesame seed. (To bake freshly made dough, shape, oil and let stand room temperature, lightly covered, for 20 minutes, then glaze with egg and top with sesame seed).
Bake in a 350° oven for 35 minutes or until crust is a deep golden color and a thin wooden skewer comes out clean. Cool on wire racks slightly before cutting. Makes 2 loaves each about 11 inches in diameter.
For the Peda burger:
Shape 3 pounds of lean ground beef (you could use ground turkey, chicken, lamb or buffalo) in 8 wedge-shaped patties about 3/4 inch thick, or if you have a basket grill, make a 12 inch diameter patty. Cook 3 inches from heat, 5 minutes to a side for rare, 8 for medium and 10 for well done. Salt and pepper only on the meat.
Split a loaf of Peda bread horizontally, making bottom crust at least 3/4 inch thick. Cover bottom with the hot meat, then 1/2 pound sliced jack cheese. Place the burger under the broiler to melt the cheese. Top with 2 thinly sliced tomatoes, 1 thinly sliced red onion, 1 cup shredded lettuce, and 1 to 2 thinly sliced dill pickles. Cover with bread top, cut in sections with individual patties or cut patty-filled loaf in wedges. Serves 8
Note: I like to take a mixture of low-fat mayo and some mustard and put on the bottom of the bread top.
Recipe source, Sunset Magazine, April 1970
Link to Sally Lunn bread recipe: Recipe
Large white metal tray, IKEA
Thank you for stopping by.