Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bosnian Somun

  • 1kg. flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast (2 envelopes or 14g.)
  • tablespoon salt
  • teaspoon sugar
  • 600 – 700 ml. warm water
  • black cumin to strew
The word "somun" itself alludes to the smell spreading across the streets of Sarajevo. The vendors offer hot somuns on the streets, taking the deliciously smelling flatbreads – good only while hot – from the boxes under steam-covered paper. These flatbreads made of gently kneaded dough are baked at very high temperatures, which results in their characteristic puffed-up shape and a hollow body. The more hollow the middle, the better the somun. It works best with kajmak or topa (salt clotted cream, and molten butter with cream, respectively). In any case, it is indispensible alongside cevapcici and sliced onion.

In a small bowl, mix two teaspoons of yeast and 200 ml of lukewarm water; add one tablespoon of flour and a teaspoon of sugar. Then, let the yeast activate.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the leavening to the flour and knead the dough with 500 ml. warm, but not hot, water. The dough should be very soft.

Let the dough rise until double in bulk. Then, knead and let rise again.
When the dough has risen for the second time, cover your hands in flour and split it into 8 balls of same size. Cover the balls with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise some more.
Roll each ball in flour and form into a flatbread; avoid flattening too much, as the somuns may otherwise be too thin. Transfer the somuns on a baking tray covered with waxed paper.

Brush the somuns with water and strew some black cumin on them. Use a knife or a wooden spit to make a rhomboid pattern on the top side.
At first, bake the somuns at 230 degrees; when their colours starts turning golden, reduce temperature to 150 °C and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.


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