Further to the free recipe for Brazilian cheese buns to get you in the mood for the World Cup, I thought I would play fair by offering a Croatian bread too. This is delicious bread is called Lepinja and it is like a fat pita bread. You can cut open and stuff with things (think tomato, cucumber, feta and mint or ham and cheese or lamb sausages and hummous…) while you and your friends watch the world cup. You can also just “tear and share”, serving dips that require very little concentration while you focus on the telly. Never say we don’t think of everything…
Recipe for Croatian lepinja
350 g strong white wheat or spelt flour
240 g water
2 g instant yeast or 3.5 g dry active yeast or 7 g fresh yeast
7 g salt
If you are using dry active yeast, measure the flour into a big bowl and make a well in it. Pour over the water (it can be from the tap) and wait for 15 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add the salt and bring all the ingredients together in the bowl. Turn the dough out onto the table and knead for 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and cover it. Let it rest for 1 hour and then take it out of the bowl and give it a little knead for 1 minute or so. Put it back in the bowl and let it rise again, covered, for 1 hour.
If you are using instant or fresh yeast, measure everything into a big bowl and bring the ingredients together. Turn the dough out onto the table and knead for 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and cover it. Let it rest for 1 hour and then take it out of the bowl and give it a little knead for 1 minute or so. Put it back in the bowl and let it rise again, covered, for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and form them into tight balls. Click here to see a little video on this. Cover these with a towel and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Using your hand or a rolling pin, flatten each ball into a disc about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. Do this on a floury surface with floury hands or floury rolling pin or you may stick. Transfer the discs to a baking tray that you have lined with greaseproof paper and let them rest for 45 minutes while you pre heat the oven to 230 degrees (or as high as you can get it).
Put the discs of dough in and reduce the heat to 200 degrees. Bake them for 20-30 minutes (depends on how hight you can get your oven) until they are a light golden brown. Not too brown!
Remove them from the oven and immediately cut them open with a sharp knife or scissors to open the pocket. Be careful they are hot and the steam that escapes is hot! Then stack them and wrap them in a cloth to keep them soft until you are ready to eat them! YUM!
A Croatian World Cup Treat! Want to learn more about baking bread or avoid the world cup altogether by taking a baking class? Click here for information on our classes this summer.
Easiest hummous in the world
1 can chick peas (drained into a bowl – ie keep the liquid from the can)
Juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
2 garlic cloves peeled and squashed
pinch of cumin seeds or ground cumin
pinch of dry chile flakes
Basically whack everything except the water from the can in the magimix and blend to a fine paste. Taste it. Need more of anything? Lemon juice? Salt? Garlic? Cumin? Chile? Add some more: it’s YOUR hummous. Blend again and then if it’s too thick (like baby food, not hummous) add a bit of the water from the can until it is the thickness you want. Put in fridge and eat with your Lepinja while you watch the world cup. Your friends will be amazed.