About this recipe:Ekmek is a light and slightly sour flatbread that tastes wonderful with cheese. It uses a starter which ferments for 4 days. I recommend using a pizza stone to bake the loaves on. If you've no pizza stone, baking trays will work also. The recipe seems complicated, but it's a lot easier than it appears.
200g bread flour, divided
180ml water, divided
5 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
500ml warm water (45 degrees C)
820g bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 to 8 tablespoons polenta (cornmeal), as needed
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Method Prep:1hr › Cook:40min › Ready in:1hr40min
To make the starter: Place 1/3 of the flour and 60ml water in a coverable bowl; stir well. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. The next day, add another 1/3 of the flour and 60ml water to the bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. On the third day, add the final 1/3 of the flour and 60ml water to the bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight.
To make the dough: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Break the starter into small pieces and add it to the yeast mixture. Stir in 550g of flour and the salt. Stir in the remaining flour, 70g at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and then cover it with a dry cloth. Let it rise until double in size.
Put the dough back onto a lightly floured work surface and punch out the air. Divide the dough in half and knead each piece for 2 to 3 minutes. Shape each piece into a tight oval loaf. Sprinkle two baking trays with poletna (cornmeal). Roll and stretch two loaves until they are approximately 40x30cm ovals. Dust the tops of the loaves with flour. Cover with a dry cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220 C / Gas mark 7.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Mist with water 3 times in the first 15 minutes. Loaves are done when their bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on wire racks before serving.