Our extended colder weather as of late means my poor Big Green Egg and Mini Egg sit lonely under the carport, seldom used these days. This weekend’s slight warmup sent me outside, eager to light a fire and get cooking. I vaccuumed ancient ash out of my Mini, scrounged up some lump charcoal, and decided on a favorite grilling combo: a protein plus a flatbread, this time with Mediterranean flavors.
I found flatbread inspiration in Anissa Helou’s Mediterranean Street Food. She describes r’ghayef, a Moroccan bread stuffed with minced onions, parsley, cumin, paprika, chili peppers, and…butter! (A surprising addition from the lands of olive oil, but I’m a firm believer that butter makes everything better.) After kneading together a simple flour, water, and yeast dough, the cook simply spreads a bit of the filling on thinly stretched dough and folds the dough to encase the filling. The dough is flattened, folded and re-flattened, then baked. While Helou’s original recipe calls for the breads to be baked, stove-top, in a nonstick skillet, the Mini’s baking stone proved equal to the task.
Using a baking (aka pizza) stone atop a charcoal grill yields excellent results with flatbreads (whether pizzas, pita, naan, roti, or r’ghayef). Flatbreads puff nicely, char in spots, and cook very quickly. Certainly, a preheated stone in a gas or electric indoor oven will bake these breads. But the slight charring, so desirable and delicious, will be lessened unless baking temperatures are increased and the stone is preheated for quite some time.