Recipe: Perfect Matnakash

Matnakash. Matnakash (Armenian: մատնաքաշ) is a leavened traditional Armenian bread, similar to the naan. The word matnakash means "finger draw" or "finger pull", referring to the way the bread is prepared. It is made of wheat flour with yeast or sourdough starter.

Matnakash Matnakash : Armenian traditional flat bread that has specific shape, lines pulled with finger, that's where the name comes from, and tastes very-very delicious. I've been trying to get a recipe for this flatbread for a while and eventually made one up ,since I wasn't able to find an original recipe. Matnakash is made of the simplest following ingredients: water, flour and yeast. You can have Matnakash using 10 ingredients and 7 steps. Here is how you cook it.

Ingredients of Matnakash

  1. Prepare of Starter.
  2. You need 1.5 cup of bread flour.
  3. It's 1 tsp of active dry yeast.
  4. You need 300 ml of warm filtered water.
  5. It's of Main dough.
  6. Prepare of All of the starter.
  7. Prepare 225 ml of warm water.
  8. Prepare 3 cups of all-purpose flour.
  9. It's 1 tsp of kosher salt.
  10. It's of ✨ 5 tbsp Oil and 1 egg white for final shaping.

In ancient times people didn't have the yeast and the leaven was prepared only based on water and flour. This method, of course, is the original one, but in order to achieve it without the yeast, it will take many days for the dough to mature. Coat them with oil and let them rise. Originally, it was prepared only with flour and water, and without yeast.

Matnakash instructions

  1. Mix starter until homogenous, cover and let stand on the counter in 70-80F room for 6-8hrs..
  2. Add water to the starter, mix until incorporated, then move the dough to the stand mixer bowl and add flour. Start mixing on low speed for 3-5 min with paddle attachment. Stop, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 10-15 min. Add salt and mix with dough hook attachment for about 7-10 min until the dough comes off the sides. Transfer to oiled large container, and cover. The dough should rest 3 -4 hrs until it doubles in size..
  3. Transfer to an oiled working bench/counter. Fold using bench scraper into a shape. (Tip: bench scraper and hands should be oiled at this point). Let the dough rest 15-20 min..
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet that is either oiled or lined with parchment paper and oiled. Gently press the dough (with oiled hands) into an oval shape about an inch thick. (Tip: Don’t make it too thin- definitely not thinner than half inch. Mine was about 14”x8”. You could shape these into two small rounds about 5-6 in diameter.) Do the ridges by hand and cover with oiled plastic wrap for 60 min for final proofing.
  5. The oven should be preheated to max (mine is 500F) for at least half hour. Place a baking stone or a baking sheet in the middle rack to preheat and a cast iron pan on the bottom rack..
  6. Mix egg white with 2 tsp of water and 2 tsp of vegetable or olive oil. Dip your hands in that mixture and go over the ridges/ indentations on more time then brush the mixture over the loaf..
  7. As soon as you put the pan in the oven, add 2 cups of ice cubes into the bottom cast iron pan to create steam. Close the oven door and bake 18-20 min..

To make the starter, combine the flour and yeast in a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the water until a thick paste forms. Matnakash Recipe "If people can fly to space, making matnakash is not so difficult." That was the answer we got when we asked Ghegham Grigor yan, a baker in Gyumri, if it was hard to replicate the shape of this Armenian bread. Did we mention that the Gyumretsi (people of Gyumri) are famous for their wisecracking ways? Another Staple for the Table - Matnakash.

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