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We Knead To Bake #22 : Sheermal/ Shirmal (Saffron Flavoured Flatbread)
  • 1tsp active dried yeast
  • 2tsps sugar
  • 1/4cup waterlukewarm
  • 2 1/4cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4cup ghee
  • 1/2cup milk(or more, as required for kneading)
  • 1tsp water rose waterkewra (screw pine essence) or rose
  • A fewstrands saffron milksoaked in warm 2 tbsps
  • butterMelted , for brushing
  1. Mix the yeast into the warm water with sugar and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes till it is frothy.
  2. You may knead by hand or with a machine. Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg and run the processor a couple of times to mix well. Then add the ghee in two lots to this and again pulse a couple of times till it looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Now add as much milk, and finally the kewra (or rose water) and knead until you have a very soft and slightly sticky dough. Transfer this to an oiled bowl, cover with a moist cloth and let the dough rise till doubled in volume (about 1 to 2 hours).
  4. Remove the cloth and knead the dough again. Shape into a ball, lightly coat all over with a little ghee, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Now divide the dough into 4 equal portions and using your fingers, press out each portion into a round of approximately 4u201d diameter (about 1/8u201d thick). You can also use your rolling pin, but I found it quite easy to do with my fingers. Place the rounds on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking tray and using a fork, dock (prick holes) the whole surface of the dough rounds.
  6. Brush them all over, generously, with the saffron-milk solution. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 15 minutes till they turn a lovely golden brown. Do not over-bake them.
  7. Take them out of the oven, and immediately brush them lightly with melted butter or more ghee. Serve warm. This recipe makes 4 Sheermals of approximately 4u201d diameter.