Nov 28, 2014

Dhakai Bakarkhani : Sweet Flatbread from Bangladesh - Piadina Dolce del Bangladesh

    English / Italiano (segue)

For the month of November the Bread Baking Babes group has chosen a recipe from Bangladesh that behind its scent and taste hides a tragic love story between an army general named Aga Bakar and a beautiful dancer named Khani Begum (Bakar + Khani = Bakarkhani).
The Kitchen of the month, Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen has taught us how to prepare this very rich flatbread, prepared in a way similar to puff pastry.
Thank you so much, Aparna! My family loved them!
PS: As I am not a huge fans of "all-purpose only" I've made a second batch using home-milled spelt flour and they also were a big hit in the family.
My flatbreads were very crispy - so crispy that they were enjoyed like tasteful cookies. 

A short introduction to Bakarkhani by Aparna (you can read this while your dough is resting :-) ):
"Bakarkhani (also called Baqeerkahni, Bakharkhoni or Bakorkhani) are flatbreads that came into the Asian sub-continent with the tandoor and other breads of Turkish and Mughal traders and invaders sometime in the eighteenth century. 

It is quite popular in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. 
In India, The Bakharkhani is typically found in areas where history, food and culture are influenced by the Mughal rule like LucknowHyderabad and Kashmir.

Bakharkhani, seems to be different in different parts of the world where it exists: it can be a savoury or slightly sweet, leavened or unleavened, soft or crisp, eaten for breakfast or served with tea, and even like a paratha (Sylheti Bakharkhani from Bangladesh). 
The softer leavened versions of Bakharkhani are usually served with kebabs and meat curries."
 If you, like me, are a scratch-aholic, before mixing up the dough you need to prepare the ghee (clarified butter) and the Mawa (khoya / milk solid).... otherwise just go happily shopping or have a look in your pantry. 

Per il mese di novembre, le Bread Baking Babes hanno scelto una ricetta dal Bangladesh, la quale tra il suo profumo e sapore nasconde una tragica storia d'amore tra un generale dell'esercito di nome Aga Bakar e una bellissima ballerina di nome Khani Begum (Bakar + Khani = Bakarkhani).
Ringrazio molto Aparna di My Diverse Kitchen (nonché la “kitchen of the month”) per averci insegnato a preparare questa deliziosa, croccante e ricca “piadina”, preparata in modo simile alla pasta sfoglia. Le mie “piadine” però sono risultate molto croccanti – così croccanti da definirle “biscotti” … ma che buoni questi biscotti!!
PS: poiché non sono una fans della farina di grano 00 ho preparato un secondo batch utilizzando farina di farro macinata in casa. Un successone!

Aparna ci ha inoltre arricchito con una breve ed interessante introduzione sulla piadina Bakarkhani:
Ad un certo punto nel 18esimo secolo le piadine "Bakarkhani (chiamate anche Baqeerkahni, Bakharkhoni o Bakorkhani), il tadoor e altre sorte di pani sono giunti nel sub-continente asiatico grazie a commercianti turchi e Moghul e agli invasori.
Le piadine "Bakarkhani sono molto popolari in Bangladesh, India e Pakistan. In India si trovano generalmente nelle regioni in cui la storia, il cibo e la cultura sono influenzati dalla regola Moghul come Lucknow Hyderabad e Kashmir.  

Il sapore e la consistenza delle piadine Bakharkhani variano a seconda del luogo dove vengono preparate: salate o leggermente dolci, lievitate o senza lievito, morbide o croccanti. Servite a colazione o a merenda con il tè o ancora servite come un paratha (in Bangladesh: Sylheti Bakharkhani). Le versioni più morbide e lievitate sono servite con kebab e curry. 
Se anche voi, come me, siete “fanatici” del fatto in casa, prima di preparare l’impasto  è necessario preparare il ghee (burro chiarificato) e il Mawa (khoya / latte privato di gran parte dell’umidità) .... oppure godetevi una qualche oretta di shopping in un negozio indiano.

Step one: 
Prepare the GHEE (ghee = clarified butter): please click here to read how to make homemade ghee.

Step two: 

Prepare the MAWA (mawa = khoya = milk solids)

If you have plenty of time: 

Ingredients: 1 Liter milk (2% fat works as well)
Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. 
Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half. The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.
 Once the milk it has reduced to about one fourth, 1/4 quantity, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance. There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be a bit moist and not stick to the sides of the pan. 
Let it cool. Once it has cooled, it should still be a little moist but you should be able to crumble it.
(video tutorial: please click here)

If you are in a hurry:

Ingredients for approx 1/2 cup Mawa:
½ cup (55 g) powdered milk (I’ve used 0.5% fat)
4 tablespoons (60 ml) ghee
3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk 

In a microwave bowl combine ½ cup (55 g) of powdered milk with the ghee. 
Then add the milk, little at a time, and mix well.
Heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, mixing every 20-30 seconds.
(video tutorial: please click here).
For my flatbread I've tried the "microwave" recipe. It worked but Aparna made me aware that the "real Mawa" has a caramelized taste, what I missed. So the next time, I'll make sure to have enough time and go with the "cook & stir the milk" recipe.

Step three: Prepare the DOUGH: 
Ingredients for 10-12 flatbreads:

For wheat Bakarkhani:
2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour, (plus a little more for rolling it out the dough)
1/4 cup mawa (60 g for all purpose and 45 g for wholemeal spelt)
1/4 cup (60 ml) ghee (plus a little more for spreading on the dough while rolling it out)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar (homemade sugar and vanilla)
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract (wasn't in the original recipe)
2/3 cups water (a little less or more if needed)
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)

For wholemeal spelt Bakarkhani:
2 cups (240 g) home-milled spelt (wholemeal spelt) (plus a little more for rolling it out the dough) 
1/4 cup mawa (should be 60 g but I only had 45 g left)
1/4 cup (60 ml) ghee (plus a little more for spreading on the dough while rolling it out)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar (homemade sugar and vanilla)
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract (wasn't in the original recipe)
2/3 cups water (a little less or more if needed)
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)

Making the dough:
In a large bowl combine flour, salt and sugar. 
Crumble the mawa over the flour and mix in (picture 1)
Then add the ghee and use your fingers to rub it into the flour (picture 2).   
Add the water, a little at a time, and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough that can be rolled out very thin (after kneading it for a minute or two by hand, I've let the stand mixer do the trick and kneaded it for another 10 minutes) (pictures 3 & 4).

Form a ball with the dough and cover it with plastic foil (picture 4) or a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying. 
Let it rest for 30-60 minutes. 
Uncover and lightly coat the dough with a little ghee.
Cover and let it rest for another 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, lightly "grease" your rolling pin and working surface with ghee or oil.

Please do watch this Video Tutorial (It's not in English but it will clearly show you how to fold the flatbread)
For you (and me) I've summarized the folding tutorial on this picture:

Should your ghee have solidified, melt it by placing its container into a shallow bowl of hot water. 

Divide the dough into two portions, working with one portion at a time (or if you have a big working surface, roll out the dough without dividing it).
Roll out the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle, without adding any flour. It should be thin enough for you to see your working surface through the dough!

With your fingers, brush a little ghee (do not exaggerate!) all over the dough, then sprinkle it evenly with some flour (the flour will absorb the ghee).
Repeat one more time: brush with ghee and sprinkle with flour.

Fold the dough into half (above picture, step 2) and repeat the process of 2x brushing with ghee and sprinkling with flour.
Each time you fold it you have to 2x brush with ghee and sprinkle with flour.

Fold following the tutorial above picture, step 3 to 12

Once you've shaped the long cylinder (above picture, step 13), cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.  
Pinch off lime (or golf ball) sized balls and roll each one into a small, round flatbread about 1/8 inch thick (3 mm) (I've rolled out the spelt dough much thinner than the wheat dough and it was crispier. So please, do roll out the dough as thin as possible).
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and lightly press into the dough using your rolling pin. 
With a knife, make three cuts on each flatbread.

Arrange the flatbreads on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 325°F/170°C for 20-25 minutes or until light brown on top. Do not over bake! Let them cool on a wire rack and serve with coffee or tea. 

(traduzione della ricetta segue)

Fancy becoming a Bread Baking Buddy? Here's how it works:

- You have until the 29th to bake the bread and post about it on your blog with a link to the Kitchen of the Month’s post about the bread.
- E-mail the Kitchen of the Month (you'll find her name in my post) with your name and a link to your post OR leave a comment on the Kitchen of the Month’s blog that you have baked the bread and a link back to your post.
- The Kitchen of the Month will post a round-up of the Bread Baking Buddies at the end of the week and send them a BBB badge for that month’s bread.
No blog, No problem – just e-mail the Kitchen of the Month with a photo and brief description of the bread you baked and you’ll be included in the round-up.

Short glossary:
BBBabes: this group's creators.
Kitchen of the Month: the BBBabe who has chosen the recipe of the month. On his/her blog you'll find the recipe written in details.
BBBuddies: who's baking along, has sent the link and picture to the Kitchen of the Month and has received the BBB badge.

Fancy becoming a "Back to the Future, Buddies"?
The idea of baking the BBBabes breads I had missed from the creation of the group in 2009 stroke my mind, as each and every bread they had proposed had turned out to be a huge hit.
And that’s how this project came to life: all the way from the beginning and back to the future, that’s what we are going to bake.
Join us, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be delicious!

PS: If you wish, join the group on Facebook by clicking here.

Volete anche voi entrare a far parte del mondo dei "Bread Baking Buddies”? Ecco come funziona:  
- Capire l'inglese (poiché non ho ancora visto nessun altro tradurre le ricette in italiano).
- Avete tempo fino al 29 di ogni mese per preparare il pane e scrivere un articolo a riguardo sul vostro blog, includendo un link alla Kitchen of the Month (cucina del mese – colui/colei che ha scelto la ricetta. Il nome lo trovate nel mio articolo).
- Mandare una E-mail alla Kitchen of the Month con il vostro nome e il link al vostro articolo o lasciare un commento sul suo blog, dicendo che avete preparato il pane e il relativo link al vostro articolo.
- The Kitchen of the Month pubblicherà alla fine della settimana una raccolta di tutti i BBBuddies e invierà loro il magnifico Badge per il pane di quel mese.
- No blog, No problems! Inviate una e-mail alla Kitchen of the Month con una foto ed una breve descrizione del pane che avete preparato. Sarete così inclusi nella raccolta di BBBuddies.

Con tutte queste sigle, piccolo glossario:
BBBabes: i creatori / creatrici del gruppo
Kitchen of the Month: il / la BBBabe che ha scelto la ricetta del mese. Sul suo blog troverete la ricetta passo per passo.
BBBuddies: tutti coloro che hanno preparato il pane del mese, inviato foto e link alla Kitchen of the Month e ricevuto il distintivo (Badge).  

Volete anche voi entrare a far parte del mondo dei "Back to the Future, Buddies?”
Un paio di giorni fa sono stata colta dall’irrefrenabile voglia di preparare tutti i pani che mi ero persa dalla creazione del gruppo nel 2009… anche perché ogni loro ricetta si è rivelata un grande successo.
E così è nato questo progetto: ripercorrere tutta la strada dall’inizio e "Back to the Future", … ed è così che faccio appello a voi,  amanti delle cose buone fatte in casa: unitevi al gruppo: sarà divertente, sarà delizioso.
Se lo desiderate, unitevi al gruppo su Facebook, cliccando qui.

I've submitted this recipe to: 
Ho condiviso la ricetta con:
Sweet and That's it

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  1. I just wanted to say a big thank you for baking these flatbreads along with us. It's nice to see you used spelt flour, and I love the detailed pictorial tutorial you made for the folding method.

    1. Thank you so much Aparna for having chosen such a delicious recipe.
      All the best


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