I know the title sounds cheeky but it’s better than WTH that crossed my mind when I learned about this purse-shaped loaf studded with sesame seeds. A bread that you can tote around and eat it too? How cool is that! It all started when I was looking into the round-shaped kaak (middle eastern version of Greek pita), and from there I discovered that kaak/ka’ak is Arabic for cake and comes in both sweet and savory variations. Apparently the bread bag version is a common sight around the streets of Beirut as vendors suspend them from food stalls or trucks.
The best thing to come out of this is that I am now hooked on getting the hang of baking in a Weber. It’s a steep learning curve, but bread done in a kettle grill has its own particular flavor and gets me spending more fun time outdoors before summer comes to an end.
Round ka’ak pocket breads baked in the kettle
Don’t wait for summer to try this. Vanilla ice cream works if lemongrass/kaffir is not an option.
The 3 scoops of ice cream in the previous post may have resembled the colors of Neapolitan, but strawberry is the only one to fit the description. The remaining 2 – lemongrass-kaffir lime leaf, cardamom coffee – are flavors that grabbed my attention on MasterChef Australia. Both are exotic, bold, intriguing combinations that we immediately loved even without the extra dessert components that made up the whole plate.
The dish above is from a recipe by contestant Tamara Graffen and the element to catch my eye was the roti bread she prepared as part of the plating. I’m familiar with Indian roti, but this roti, or more precisely roti canai, is part of southeast Asian cuisine and differs in look and texture. Crunchy, flaky, butter-kissed layers of fried dough that works with savory or sweet dishes. I’ve been making these 2-3 times a week to serve on the side with curry because they are that good!
Look for roti canai on the web and you might come across a guy tossing dough in the air like a pizza pro. The simplified home version is easier, and requires gentle patting and stretching with the fingertips to achieve a transparent thinness. A few bits of cold butter goes on top before folding into thirds from top to bottom, then left to right.
I love watching these puff up on a hot skillet. And that delicious aroma of melting butter…
My favorite part is the next step. The roti is scrunched up by clapping your hands around it. Clap! Clap! Clap! I find this part so therapeutic?!
The roti can be made several hours ahead of time and warmed in the oven, but you really want to devour these right out of the skillet.