Mufleta Flatbread Cakes
Recipe contributed by Elizabeth Schwartz; photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 2 hours Cook Time: 45 minutes
A delicate yeast pancake, made of soft dough and fried on one side only; the second side cooks as it lies on a stack of hot mufletas right in the pan. Because this is a yeast dough, be sure to allow time for the dough to rise.
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet; ¼ ounce) dry yeast
1½ cups warm water (see Kitchen Tip)
3½ cups (480 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup olive oil, divided
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, or in a mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water, and let stand allow for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture foams. Add the flour, salt, and sugar, and knead at for 7 to 8 minutes in the mixer or by hand. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise for about 1 hour.
- Pour about a fourth of the the oil into a large rimmed tray. Dip your hands in the oil lightly, and with greased hands, pull off golf ball–sized balls of dough. Dip them quickly into the reserved oil and place the balls on the oiled tray. Cover again with the towel and let rise for half an hour.
- Spray a wide saucepan or cast iron pan and your work surface with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Set the pan over medium-high heat.
- With greased hands, take a ball of dough, place it on the greased work surface and flatten it into a thin, nearly translucent disc, with stroking, outward motions. (For a less traditional style, use a non-stick rolling pin).
- Place the circle of dough in the hot pan and cook until it browns slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, make another circle with another ball of dough. After this point, you won’t need to oil the pan, since the dough will provide enough oil.
- Flip the first mufleta and place the second one on top of it. Let it cook for a minute, then turn over both the pancakes together (now the new mufleta will be facing down, and the first one facing up). Place a new circle of dough on top of the stack, and flip the whole thing. Repeat with the remaining dough so that you have a stack of 12 pancakes in the end. Once you remove the mufletas from the skillet, cover them quickly with a towel, so they stay hot and moist. Serve immediately.
- The classic way to serve them is with honey and butter.
- Making these thin takes some practice. Our first attempts were a bit flatbread-like, but once you get the hang of it, it can get quite thin. Translucence is the key. We like them with spicy and spunky stews and soups for any occasion.
- Yeast is a little living creature, and it needs special handling. You need warm water to activate it and get it started eating and bubbling, but if the water is too warm (more than 110°F), you’ll kill it and it simply won’t work at all.