Kurdish Flatbread – baked in a brick oven!

“What’s Nana Cooking?”

  • Makes 8 flatbreads – approx 5″ x 12″ shape, or 10-12″ round, as desired
  • Adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors of the World, Naomi Duigud

Illustration of Nana in garden“I am working with the recipe for Kurdish Flatbread from Naomi Duigud’s Flatbreads and Flavors of the World. It is a traditional peasant bread, and very easy to work with out of doors and with students, and is baked in the earth oven. It goes well with hummus made from our own garbanzo beans. Our goal is on-farmed process bulgur wheat, so that there is provenance in this simple, nutritious flatbread.”


  • 1 cup             bulgur
  • 1 tsp              sea salt
  • 1/2 cup        minced onion
  • 2 cups          boiling water
  • 2 cups          unbleached all-purpose white flour (as freshly milled as possible)

Preheat oven to 450° F

Pour water over bulgur, salt and onion. Let stand 30 min. Incorporate flour by hand. Knead 10 min on floured surface. Let stand 15 min to 3 hrs. Divide into 8 pieces. Roll out with rolling pin to desired shape, about 1/8″ thick. Transfer 2 at a time to the oven. Bake 2 minutes each side, until breads begin to brown around the edges.

Cardoon House Crackers ready for oven.

Cardoon House Crackers ready for the oven.


Nana’s House Crackers

“Our house crackers are served at most events held here at the farm. Their special quality is directly related to tending our levain. Most everyday we refresh our levain by discarding small amounts, and adding an equal amount of water and flour back in to the levain. The cracker recipe is:”

  • 1 cup               levain
  • 1-1/4 cup        flour (whole white, whole wheat and rye combinations)
  • 1/3 cup             unrefined coconut oil*
  • 1/2  tsp             sea salt

Preheat oven to 350° F

Mix by hand. Let rest 7 hours, roll out until very thin ( 1/16”) on two parchment-covered baking sheets and score with tip of knife or pastry cutter.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for another 8 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open using an oven mitt. Crackers will crisp up while the oven cools.

* We use La Tourangelle 100% organic and unrefined coconut oil. This is a great substitute for shortening, and has a neutral flavor and no trans fats.

What is a levain?

A levain is the portion of pre-ferment flour and water that goes into the final dough and raises the whole mass during the bulk (first) and final rises.

To make a levain, you must first make a starter culture, which is essentially a mixture of flour, water, and ambient yeasts and bacteria, which under ideal conditions, will thrive and multiply. This is a 6-8 day process of taking a small amount of the flour and water mixture and adding more flour and water, until you have a strong active culture. Once you have an active starter, you again take a portion and “build” it with larger amounts of flour and water. After two builds, the levain should be ready.

Any good artisan bread book will have a thorough explanation of this process.

At Nana Cardoon we use two basic methods for building levain.  One comes from an article in The Art of Eating publication: “A Recipe for Pain au Levain,” by James MacGuire. (Number 83, Winter 2009). In the same issue is an interesting article about the Poilane Bakery Pain au Levain. The second method we use is described in Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. We also consult Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish.