Punch the dough down and divide it into 24 pieces. Shape them into perfectly smooth balls, and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450F/230C.
Take three or four dough balls and roll them on a floured board into 1/4 inch / 7 mm thick flat cakes with no creases. Use flour on your rolling pin too if the dough cakes are sticky.
Bake on oven floor as directed above for about 5 minutes, or until the breads puff up and start to brown. If they begin to brown on the bottom before they are done on top, finish baking them on the top rack of your oven while beginning the next batch on the bottom, lowering the temperature slightly.
To keep them soft for stuffing, cover the breads with a warm, damp towel and tuck them away from drafts in a corner. They are at their best served warm or reheated.
One recipe, the equivalent of two loaves of bread, makes 24 Arab Breads. If you wish, simply make part of the dough into a conventional loaf and bake as usual.
You'd never know it, but once again, it's Basic Whole Grain Bread, with just a few changes. These individual bread puffs rise and then collapse to form pockets which can be stuffed to make a splendid one-dish supper or picnic lunch.
If you have a gas range, bake Arab Breads directly on the floor of the oven, or, if that seems too outlandish, place an ungreased cookie sheet on the oven floor and use that. If your oven is electric, remove the upper heating element (most of them snap out easily for cleaning) and bake breads on an ungreased cookie sheet placed on the lowest rack.
"Found these recipes in an old book of my mum's from the 70's (her vegetarian phase as she calls it...) - 'Laurel's Kitchen - A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition'. Lots of good, simple, interesting food!"
posted by ingrid