My little boy absolutely loves meals which involve dipping, tearing, dunking, sharing and picking bits and pieces that he fancies from a selection of yummy things…. a “choosing lunch”. And do you know what – so do I. I think we all do – perhaps it’s some sort of primeval enjoyment for eating with our hands rather than cutlery – tearing apart warm, freshly-cooked flatbreads, scooping up a big dollop of hummus, and dotting a sun-blushed tomato or maybe a few olives on top. I don’t think there can be many better starters or lunch platters to share with friends or family.
This was my first attempt at making hummus in my new Froothie blender (which I reviewed here), and I’m not sure I should say this but it’s probably the best hummus I’ve tasted, (though I haven’t been to the Middle East or Ottolenghi’s, so my experience is limited to delis and supermarkets!). I think it is a combination of the blender’s 3 horsepower engine (yes, really!) and 6 ultra-tough blades to really whizz the chickpeas down and remove any hint of graininess, which even the best supermarket versions don’t quite achieve.
The addition of the water from the chickpea tin, or ‘aquafaba’ as it is trendily known these days is also a revelation. I know – it absolutely stinks, and I’ve never tried using it before precisely because of that smell. But trust me – it works some sort of magic on this hummus, and gives it a lightness you can’t really imagine until you taste it.
And a whole head of garlic?! Yes – but roasted in the oven so it becomes deep, rich and sweet but without any of the death-breath, (promise!).
The seedy spelt flatbreads are really lovely, and at their best served straight from the pan so they are still warm and soft. If you must make them ahead, keep them covered in a clean tea towel, and re-heat them in a microwave. The choice of seeds is all yours – I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds which are fairly large, along with smaller linseeds and poppy seeds. They made the flatbread a bit knobbly and harder to roll out evenly, but tasted fab. If you would prefer a less knobbly, more uniform flatbread just use smaller seeds, or blitz them up before adding to the dough.
- 1 head garlic
- 400 g tin chickpeas
- 3 tbsp tahini peanut butter also works well if you don't have any to hand
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- half a teaspoon salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 50 g mixed seeds a combination of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, poppy or linseed are lovely!
- 75 g spelt flour
- 75 g strong white flour
- half a teaspoon salt
- quarter of a teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Slice the top off the head of garlic, and wrap it in foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil, place on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a sieve or colander over a jug and drain the tin of chickpeas, reserving all of the water from the tin in the jug. Place the chickpeas in a blender, along with the tahini, olive oil, salt and lemon juice. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft flesh from each clove, straight into the blender.
Whizz until smooth, then gradually add the reserved chickpea water until desired consistency is reached. The more you add, the 'lighter' the texture will become, so be bold! I used about 5-6 tablespoons.
Combine the flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Measure 150ml water in a jug and add the 2 tbsp olive oil. Add this gradually to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough is formed - you may not need all the water, or you may even need a little more. Finally, knead the seeds into the dough until they are spread evenly throughout.
Divide the dough into five roughly equal pieces, and roll each into a ball. Roll out each ball with a rolling pin on a floured surface - try to get them as thin as you can, but this will depend on your choice of seeds.
Heat a large frying pan, then simply place your first flatbread in the pan - no need for oil. Once it begins to blister and starts to turn golden underneath, flip it over for another minute or two, then take it out and wrap immediately in a clean tea-towel. (This will keep it soft whilst you cook the rest of the flatbreads). Repeat with the other 4 flatbreads and serve immediately - they are at their best straight from the pan.
Oh, and if you’re tempted by a Froothie Optimum 9200A blender to get your hummus as smooth and creamy as this, there’s £100 off at the moment in the autumn sale – down from £429 to £329. An investment, but a very powerful motor and ultra-tough blades that will last for years.
For more inspiration for things to dunk flatbreads into, take a look at my Pinterest board Dips & Sauces: Vegetarian & Vegan
Disclosure: I am a Froothie Ambassador, and this post contains affiliate links – I will receive a commission if you order any products via these links.