Being in the middle of nowhere with no place nearby to buy some bread for your braai? Isn’t that a terrible picture?
We found ourselves under exactly these circumstances as we sat at 1250 meters on an extinct volcano somewhere in Namibia. For those who have been to Namibia will understand that it is not very easy to go to the nearest city and buy some food… because most likely you will be somewhere where there is no nearest city.
That’s the reason why we always have some flour and dry yeast hidden somewhere in our storage box. Without further ado, we quickly mixed a nice and easy dough in one of our pots, wrapped it in some blankets (the wind was howling and it was freezing cold) and let it rest on the back seat of our bakkie for about an hour. In the meantime we strolled around and searched for big, flat rocks to use as a hot surface to bake the bread on. Before preparing the fire we built a little oven-like contraption out of stones. We shaped a U, placing stones on top of each other, closing the top with the biggest and flattest we could find. We now had a fire and little oven just high enough to shuffle hot coals beneath the flat stone.
We divided the dough in a few small pieces, softly flattened them by hand and marinated them in a mixture of salt, olive oil and dried herbs!
We waited till our flat stone became really hot before putting the pitas on. Two minutes on each side, and we had some delicious and crunchy breads for our braai. Try it!
500 g white flour
250 ml lukewarm water
1 pack dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
For the marinade:
dried herbs (oregano, thyme, basil…etc)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add it to the flour with the salt, start kneading the dough until it is soft and smooth and doesn’t stick to the hands. Put it in a big bowl, cover it with a towel and place it in a warm spot. After the pastry has risen (should take about half an hour), divide it into small pieces and roll out like you were making little mini pizza bases. If you’re not used to doing it with your hands, just take a clean bottle and use it as a rolling-pin. Spread the marinade on the little pita-style breads and start baking them. And don’t worry, if you don’t have a self-made stone oven – you can also just use a normal frying pan.