Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jeffrey Hamelman: flatbread with chocolate and anise liqueur (Grain Gathering 2015)

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I have eaten my share of anise flatbreads over the years (Moroccan bakers sell them at open-air markets in Paris) but I can't remember any as sinful as this one. With no anise seed in sight, the flavor comes from generous pre- and post-baking sprays of anise liqueur (Jeff actually used Pernod) and a melted dark chocolate filling. Make it at your own risk: by the time you have your second bite, you'll know you just got yourself a serious new addiction!
Jeff got the idea from a traditional Catalonian flatbread that Lot Roca Enrich from Harinera Roca baked for him at her family home when he visited last summer. Except that there was no chocolate in her version. Just anisette and caramelized sugar. I am pretty sure it was just as seductive though and I'd love to try it as well.

  1. Mix all the ingredients together to moderate gluten development. Alternatively, the dough can be mixed by hand (Desired dough temperature: 75°F)
  2. Bulk ferment for 3 hours, with folds every hour. Give extra folds to hand mixed dough as necessary
  3. Divide the dough into four 550g pieces
  4. Round the dough pieces moderately and leave to relax fully
  5. Stretch the dough into a long and narrow shape. If necessary, let it relax and then stretch again. The final length of the dough piece should be about 28"
  6. Spritz half of the dough lightly with anise liqueur
  7. Spread 45--50 grams of finely chopped chocolate over the spritzed surface and fold the remaining dough over this to cover the chocolate. Seal the dough well.
  8. Relax the dough for 30--45 minutes
  9. Brush olive oil on the surface of the dough. Sprinkle generously with white sugar
  10. Bake with a soft live fire or after the rake-out of embers. Bake time is dependent upon the heat of the oven.
  11. If the sugar has not caramelized, caramelize it with a propane torch
  12. While still very hot, spritz the entire surface generously with anise liqueur. 

  • You can use Pernod (or any anisette liquor) or half-Pernod half-water (but Jeffrey says it won't be as good)
  • Chocolate has to be 62% cocoa and cut into very small pieces.


  1. Wow! We use our Pernod only for Scallops with Pernod, but this is a whole new horizon!

  2. Would you bake that at 350ºF in your home oven?

    1. I would probably go a bit higher but I am going to try and find out and come back with a better answer. Maybe not before next week though because I believe Jeff is teaching this week and won't monitor his non-essential mail.



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