Homemade Stovetop Lavash

Question: What do you do when you’re out of lavash, you’re not near a store that sells it, and you don’t feel like making it the traditional way?

Answer: Make a stovetop version!

I’ve been baking my mother-in-law’s wonderful recipe for lavash for over 35 years. It’s very different from the thin, wrap-able lavash most are familiar with. Because it’s time-consuming and requires a fair amount of oven time, summertime is not the best time for me to make it. So, I decided not to make it.

Cook #2 next to tonir
Lavash cook #1 in Armenia

To make authentic, old-world lavash, one would need a tonir (an in-ground clay oven), a hot fire, a cooking partner, and a lot of patience. Nope, not going to happen!

Luckily, I have a another recipe – handwritten, slightly-tattered, and from an unknown source  – for
‘Stovetop Lavash’  that I’d never before made.

After having
seen authentic lavash being made from scratch in Armenia, I knew this
preparation would be better handled with another pair of hands, so my plan was
to make this when my daughter came to visit, but time did not permit.
Preparing this alone, I knew I had to work quickly and keep distractions
to a minimum.

Homemade Stovetop Lavash

Stovetop Lavash

Yields 8 sheets

1 cup each of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour (2
cups all-purpose flour can be used instead)
1 tsp. salt
½ to ¾ cup lukewarm water (105° to 110°F)

Step #1

1.    In a mixing
bowl, whisk together flour(s) and salt, until well-combined.          
     Slowly add ½ cup
of the water, while mixing with a wooden spoon, until
     a dough is formed. If
dough is too dry, continue to slowly add some of the remaining ¼ cup water
until a non-sticky dough is formed.

Step #2

2.    On a
lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until it is smooth.

     Divide the
dough into 8 equal-sized pieces; roll each piece into a ball.

Step #3

3.    Continuing
to work on a lightly floured work surface, roll each ball, 

     one at a time, into
a very thin circle measuring about 8 – 9 inches 

     in diameter. (As you may have noticed, mine turned out more ‘rustic’ 
     in shape than circular!)

Step #4

4.    Place
an ungreased, 12-inch, non-stick skillet on a large burner set to 

     high heat. Carefully
transfer one rolled dough sheet at a time in the 

     heated pan.

     NOTE: To
transfer the rolled piece of dough to the skillet, carefully drape 

     it over the
rolling pin and lay it into the hot pan.

Step #5

5.    Cook for
about 1 minute while gently shaking the pan to prevent the 

      lavash from burning.
Flip it onto the other side and cook, shaking the 

      pan, for one more minute.
Place on a cooling rack. 
(This is where having 

      a second pair of hands really helps!)

6.    Continue
the process until all pieces have been rolled out, cooked and completely cooled. 

My Evaluation: While striving to thinly
roll the dough, be very careful, as it can easily tear. The final product
looked and tasted like lavash, but the texture seemed a bit chewy. Perhaps, if
I’d used only all-purpose flour, that might have made a difference.

Storing and Serving Lavash:

1.    The cooked,
cooled lavash should be lightly spritzed or sprinkled with water on both sides.
(Using a bottle with a spray nozzle works nicely as long as you don’t get the
lavash too wet.) Stack the pieces with either parchment or paper towel placed in
between. Lightly cover the stack in plastic wrap for about an hour.

2.    Remove
the parchment or paper towel pieces. If the lavash pieces are large, fold each  in half or into quarters; individually wrap the folded pieces in plastic, and place in freezer bags. Freeze until needed.

3.    Getting
ready to serve
: Remove as many pieces as you need from the
freezer. Thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes while still  wrapped.

4.    Serving
: Cut into smaller pieces as part of a mezza
platter, or use as a wrap for kebabs, cheese etc.

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  1. lifeisgood August 12, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I will try this!

    1. Robyn Kalajian August 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      When you try this, I'd like to hear your thoughts!

  2. Ara August 21, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Hey Robyn, one way of storing the lavash that I saw done in Armenia is to let it dry out, then stack it in a ventilated location away from pests. When you want to use it, you sprinkle with water,let it soften a bit, roll it in a towel to let it finish softening, and voila! Though I have to say that the freezer method is a lot more economical in terms of space.

    1. Robyn Kalajian August 30, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      You're right, Ara. That's been a tried-and-true technique for ages by our elders. Thanks for mentioning it!

  3. Unknown September 26, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Awesome recipe, made it for the first time. Thank You, I'm trying to learn some dishes so I can prepare them for my relatives when they come in January.


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