Homemade Armenian Bread “Matnakash”

by Editorial Staff

Today I want to share with you a recipe for delicious homemade bread. I cannot say that this is an authentic Armenian recipe for matnakash, but I can say with confidence that it turns out insanely delicious bread, the aromas of which fill the whole house with warmth and comfort. The crumb is very porous, soft, and airy, and the crust is crispy.

Ingredients

For the test:

  • Water (warm) – 320 ml
  • Wheat flour – 400-430 g
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Dry yeast – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil – 2-3 tbsp (for working with dough)

For flour brewing:

  • Water – 100 ml
  • Flour – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Sugar – a pinch

Directions

  1. In warm (not hot!) Water I add sugar, yeast and some flour (5-6 tbsp), stir. It turns out a rather thick mass. Cover the dough with foil and leave it in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the remaining flour, stir. I pour flour and salt into the dough, kneading the dough.
  3. The dough is very soft and sticky. This is the secret of the porosity of the finished matnakash. Therefore, try not to add more flour.
  4. The dough can be kneaded using the kitchen machine or mixer with kneading attachments, or by hand. To make the dough less sticky to my hands and surface, I grease them with vegetable oil. I knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  5. I round the dough and put it in a bowl greased with vegetable oil. Cover the bowl with the dough with foil and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough should rise and double in volume.
  6. The dough rose well in an hour, it turned out to be very airy. Now you need to knead it.
  7. I grease my hands with vegetable oil and round the dough. I spread the dough on parchment (slightly longer than the length of the baking sheet on which I will bake the bread), greased with vegetable oil. Cover the dough with foil. Let the dough rest for another 15 minutes. I turn on the oven to preheat to 230 degrees. I put the baking sheet in the oven (it should be hot by the beginning of baking the bread).
  8. To get a crispy and appetizing crust on the bread, I grease it with flour infusion. For flour brewing, I mix water with flour, sugar, and salt. I heat it over low heat until a viscous homogeneous mass is obtained. For lubrication, not all of it is needed, but literally 3-4 tbsp.
  9. Gently stretch the dough into an oval. I put flour brew on the surface of the bread. I make a drawing typical for matnakash: I draw an oval, stepping back about 4 cm from the edge, and inside the oval, there are two longitudinal stripes. I leave the dough under a film or towel to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Put the parchment with the dough on a hot baking sheet. I bake matnakash in a preheated oven with steam for 15-18 minutes. (To get steam, put a container on the bottom of the oven, pour 100-150 ml of boiling water into it.) If the crust of bread browns too quickly, then bake at 230 degrees for the first 5-7 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 200 degrees and bake another 10 -12 minutes (focus on your oven).
  11. Homemade Armenian bread “Matnakash” is ready.

Bon Appetit!

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