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Paul Allam

Paul Allam

Co-founder, Bourke Street Bakery
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Tahini and thyme flatbread recipe

Lifestyle — Posted 20/12/13

The Bourke Street Bakery shares a recipe for the perfect flatbread.

This is an interesting loaf because you can really taste the tahini in the dough. The uninitiated will bite into it and marvel – what is that mysterious, delicious flavour? A perfect bread for dips that already exists in the mezze world, it would be unfair not to match this with baba ghanoush or hummus!


700 g organic bakers flour
13 g salt
375 g water
45 g milk
75 g tahini
75 g extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
15 g fresh yeast
10 g thyme, leaves picked
10 g sesame seeds


Step 1

Weigh the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix them together. In another bowl, weigh the 37ºC water (using your body temperature to gauge), milk, tahini, olive oil and yeast, whisk together and leave for 5 minutes.
Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and mix together with one bakinghand. Once the dough starts to form and its consistency is quite even, knead the dough gently in the bowl for 30 seconds; that is, bring the outer portion of the dough to the middle and work it down through the middle. Rotate the bowl as you do this so that you work the entire dough piece. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place (25ºC) for 45 minutes.

Interval – 45 minutes

Step 2

The dough should now have risen in size and be smoother than when you left it. Wet one hand and, as you rotate the bowl with the other hand, bring the outer portion of the dough to the middle and work it into the middle, much as you did in the initial kneading in step 1. When you have rotated the bowl twice, you have finished this step. Dampen the tea towel again and replace the covered bowl in its resting place. Leave for 45 minutes.

Interval - 45 minutes

Step 3

Follow the instructions in step 2 again. The dough should now have risen slightly in size and be smoother than when you left it. Leave for 45 minutes.

Interval - 45 minutes

Step 4

The dough is now ready to divide. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and stretch it out to a rectangular shape about 2cm thick. Leave it to rest for 5 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 x 500g pieces. Stretch out each piece to the length of your baking tray and 10cm wide. Lay the dough piece out on the lined tray and dimple it with your fingers (press into the dough with the tips of your fingers). Do the same with the second dough piece. Leave the doughs to prove in a warm place (25C) for 40-60 minutes.

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200C.

Check that the dough is proved by pushing the loaf gently with your fingertip, If it pushes back slowly, it is ready to bake; if the dough deflates, it is overproved; if it holds the indentation, it is underproved. Brush each loaf with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and rosemary seeds.

Place the tray in the oven and steam the oven for 10 seconds, using a spray bottle. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the tray after 15 minutes. The loaves should be golden brown when baked.

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