Zanzibari Sesame Flatbread

Zanzibari Sesame Flatbread

Ever had the worlds best bread? Well once you try this one you can say you have!

Yes, quote me! Because this bread is epic!!! Imagine Focaccia and Naan coming together to form something magical….are you picturing it? Are you drooling? Are you hungry for it? Well my loves, now you can make it, taste it and thank me later.

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In Swahili we call this ‘Mkate wa Ufuté’ which literally translates to ‘Bread of Sesame’. The only part about this that is Sesame is the sprinkling on top! This bread is literally something we eat on it’s on own or with everything. It’s incredibly moorish that you’ll find it hard to stop at one. Being Zanzibari’s we substitute the water for Coconut milk, which actually makes the bread a lot softer.

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This bread also doesn’t follow the normal structure of making bread. There is no baking in the oven. But instead a combination of frying and grilling. It’s based off an old fashioned way, when they had little or no access to ovens in Zanzibar. So everything was typically made over a flame. They would use a pan which sticks the dough to it and firstly fry off the bottom and then hold it upside down to cook the top. Thank god that we have grills now, because i’ve tried this old way a couple of times and it always ends up badly…..it really takes a grandmas touch to be able to do it, and not these trendy new non-stick pans!

You can totally make this bread vegan too, I know I add egg in my ingredients but that is my substitute for not adding water or more coconut milk. The reality is my coconut milk tins come in 400ml and I really don’t like to open a new one and only use a little bit extra. So I stick an egg or two in it depending on the consistency. If you don’t mind eggs than it doesn’t give it a more spongey interior to it. Otherwise extra coconut milk or water is completely fine if you want to keep it vegan, just leave it to rise slightly longer.

Typically in Zanzibar people would soak the top in ghee or butter. My mother and grandmother love to use Lurpak butter as it is extra salty. But I use olive oil for the glaze and sprinkle salt in it. That is of course me trying to play my part in a dairy free lifestyle. But honestly if you love loads of melted butter over it, totally do it, because when it soaks through the bread…..OMG IT IS DREAMYYYY!

You’ll need to keep a bowl of water next to you for the frying process, as it can get slightly messy and sticky and you’ll struggle to work with the dough if your hands covered in it!

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Ingredients:

  • 650g Plain Flour

  • 400ml Warm Coconut Milk

  • 2 Eggs (or extra Coconut Milk)

  • Salt (Roughly couple of teaspoons)

  • 7g Instant Yeast

  • 1 TBSP Butter or Oil

  • Sesame Seeds for Spinkling

  • Olive Oil or Butter for Glazing

Method:

  1. Pour the yeast into the milk and allow to ferment for 5 minutes.

  2. Combine in a large bowl, the flour, salt, butter and then add in the coconut/yeast mixture.

  3. Incorporate by hand or place in a mixer and beat with a dough hook.

  4. As the dough comes together, you don’t want it to be too stiff or dry so add in 1 egg, or extra coconut milk (gradually) . Only add the second egg if you haven’t reached the texture.

  5. Beat for a further 5-10 minutes. I prefer do this by hand so you can get the consistency right.

  6. This should not come together into a ball like a normal bread. It should very loose but not too liquid like.

  7. Once you have finished beating, it should be really smooth.

  8. Leave to rise for at least 1.5 hours or until it has doubled in size.

  9. Once ready. Heat up your pan on a medium heat and turn your grill on high.

  10. Knock back the dough in the bowl and pull with your hands to see if it is stretchy.

  11. Add a tiny splash of oil in your pan, then grab a handful of dough, drop it into the pan and spread with your fingers into a circle (Watch my video if you need a bit of help on how to do it).

  12. Dip your fingers in water if you find it gets too sticky. It will also help spread it apart easily.

  13. Once you have your shape, sprinkle the sesame seeds over and allow the dough to cook half way through. Ideally you want the bottom to have slightly browned and you’ll notice it starts to go dry on top.

  14. At this stage place directly under the grill and allow the top to cook. It will rise slightly and when you see it starts to turn golden, you can remove it.

  15. As soon as you remove, place on a plate and with a pastry brush, brush the oil or butter over it to allow it to seep through while it is still hot.

  16. Repeat for the rest of the dough. You should get roughly 9-10 pieces of bread.