Lavash is thin bread that can be soft or crispy. Because of its thin, crispy texture lavash also is called "cracker bread."
Making your own lavash is easier than you might think. You can serve the homemade flatbread with a cheese plate or use it as a pizza crust. Some recipes for lavash use yeast, and have a softer, chewier texture. The lavash recipe below has a crispy texture similar to a cracker.
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon water
- 1 large room-temperature egg
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, beat together the water, egg and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil until well mixed.
- To the large bowl, add the wet ingredients from the small bowl and mix together. Knead with your hands until the dough comes together. Don't knead too much, just until the dough forms, otherwise the end result will be tough.
- Split the dough into two balls. Let the balls of dough rest (see below for why this is an important step) for at least as long as it takes for the oven to heat to 400 F, ideally for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Lightly grease two unrimmed cookie sheets. Place the cookie sheets on a flat surface with a towel underneath so they don't slip. Place one ball of dough on each cookie sheet and roll the dough out as thin as possible, the thinner the dough, the crispier the flatbread.
- Brush each flatbread with 1 tablespoon each of the remaining olive oil (and sprinkle with sea salt if desired).
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the flatbread is lightly browned and crispy.
Why Let the Dough Rest?
Some recipes, like this one, suggest letting the dough sit or rest before rolling or shaping it. This step is important if you want your dough to have a delicate texture.
Letting dough rest gives the gluten a chance to relax. This, in turn, prevents the texture of dough from becoming chewy or tough when the dough is baked. Letting the dough rest also makes it easier to roll out, and it will keep its shape better after you roll it out. This is important for lavash and for pizza dough.
No Time to Bake?
Lavash also can be found ready-made in most grocery stores. It is sold in either round or rectangular shapes and made from either white or whole-wheat flour.
If you can't find prepared lavash at your favorite market, pita bread and naan are a good substitute although they have a softer, more pillowy texture than lavash.