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Recipe

Georgian Baton Bread (Shotis Puri)

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields eight breads.

The whole-wheat flour makes these puffy, baton-like breads more interesting but can be replaced with all-purpose flour.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2-1/2 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F)
  • 5 oz. (1 cup) whole-wheat flour
  • 24 oz. (5-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more or less as needed
  • 1 Tbs. coarse salt

Nutritional Information

      Nutritional Sample Size per bread
      Calories (kcal) : 360
      Fat Calories (kcal): 10
      Fat (g): 1
      Saturated Fat (g): 0
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
      Cholesterol (mg): 0
      Sodium (mg): 880
      Carbohydrates (g): 76
      Fiber (g): 4
      Protein (g): 11

Preparation

  • To make the dough: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the whole-wheat flour and about 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Stir in the same direction until smooth and then stir another 1 min. Cover the bowl with plastic; set in a cool place for at least 10 min. or up to 3 hours.
  • Stir in the salt. Gradually add 2 to 3 cups flour, mixing the dough until it’s too stiff to stir. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Wash, dry, and lightly oil the bowl. Knead the dough, letting it absorb as much flour as needed (by keeping the work surface dusted), until it’s smooth and elastic but still a little tacky, 10 to 15 min.
  • Put the dough in the bowl, cover well with plastic, and let rise in a cool place for 8 hours or overnight. If you’re not ready to bake yet, punch down the dough, put it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
  • To shape and bake: About 1-1/4 hours before you want to serve the breads, set an oven rack to a middle or lower middle rung. Put a large baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles on it, leaving a 1-inch gap around the border. Heat the oven to 475°F. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover them, and let rest for 5 to 10 min.
  • Cut one ball in half (leave the other balls covered) and turn the cut surfaces down. Flatten each half with your lightly floured palm to a 6×4-inch oval. Cover loosely. Halve and flatten the remaining pieces the same way. Let the ovals rest, covered, for 10 min. so they’re easier to shape.

  • Fill a small bowl with water. Dust a rimless baking sheet or peel lightly with flour and follow the shaping photos below.

    Working with one oval at a time, pull gently on opposite ends to begin to make wings or batons.

  • Transfer the dough to the baking stone, keeping it on one side if possible, and stretch and dent another oval and bake it alongside the first.
  • Bake the breads until their tops are lightly touched with color and the bottoms have a golden crust, 5 to 7 min. Remove them with a peel or long-handled spatula and transfer to a rack to cool for about 5 min. Wrap them in a cotton cloth to keep them soft and warm, and repeat with the remaining 6 ovals.

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