Lachuch (aka Lahoh or Lahuh): A Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
Yemenite Jews prepared lachuch and saluf for daily and Shabbat consumption. Several food writers claimed it took them a long time to master this bread so I have collected their tips and recipes to make it easier, for you, too, I hope. Lachuch turns out to be pretty easy since you don’t even have to flip it over in the pan, making it very appealing for any busy week and especially during a hot summer. Plus, children think they are eating pancakes. What could be better.
In the middle of the millenium before the common era, Yemeni tribes crossed the Red Sea forming communities that would become Ethiopia. If bread traditions similar to lachuch and saluf were known then, and they probably were, this may explain similarity to injera, Ethiopia’s teff based daily bread. Yemeni local grains had lower gluten content and therefore were more conducive to pan breads.
Read my story about lachuch at the Jewish Week: “Too Hot for Challah?”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Rising time: 2 hours
Cook time: 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the breads
Yield: About six 12-inch breads or 12 6-inch breads
1 ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon ground fenugreek, depending on taste
3 ¾ cups warm water (about 110º)
A bit of margarine, butter, or vegetable oil for the pan
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl
2. Remove any lumps so that the consistency is thin.
3. Place the bowl inside a plastic bag to rise in a warm, draft free location for about an hour. The dough will be frothy, stir it, rewrap it, and let it rise another hour.
4. The batter will be bubbly; it can be stirred lightly at the end of the second rise.
5. Heat a very lightly greased non-stick pan on a high flame. Remove the pan from the flame and cool the bottom under water from tap. This keeps the pan from getting too hot.
6. Pour batter to cover the bottom of the pan (about ½ cup for a small pan, 1 cup or more for large pan). Shake the pan a bit to distribute the batter and replace the pan on the stove.
7. Adjust the flame to medium as the batter bubbles for about 2 minutes and then lower the flame to low and cook until the bottom is golden and the top is dry and cooked, for another 3 minutes or so. (I hope that you enjoy watching the bubbles spread as I do.)
8. Do not flip it since it only cooks on one side.
9. Cool each lachuch on a paper towel or cotton towel to absorb the moisture.
10. Cool the bottom of the pan in tap water again and repeat the process for each bread.
11. Stack with bubbly sides facing each other placing waxed paper or parchment paper between each one. Serve them in a pile from a pretty challah cover or cloth napkin.
12. They will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge. They can also be frozen. When defrosting lay out lachuch again on paper towels or cotton towel; you may need to warm them a bit in a pan. If you plan ahead to freeze, leave them slightly under cooked.
1. Maggie Glezer suggests (in A Blessing of Bread) prepping the dough and refrigerating it for up to 24 hours before cooking. She also flips the breads for a few seconds to make sure both sides are cooked.
2. The process also worked when I tried it with 1 ½ cup all purpose and 1 ½ cup bread flour.
3. An alternative, or additional spicing could use ½ tablespoon zaatar and a dash of coriander.
4. If you are concerned about the freshness of your yeast, first dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup warm water (110º) in a small bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and let it foam for about 5-10 minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients (adjusting the amounts) at instruction 1.
5. I usually buy yeast in bulk so if you use yeast packets, store the remainder of the packet in the refrigerator.
6. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, grease the pan more generously.
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Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- A Chocolate Cake for October's Tricks: Devil's Food
- A Shikker Challah
- Ambasha (aka Himbasha, Hambasha) Ethiopian Wedding Bread
- Cheese Babka Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Chronicles: Inventions & Elections
- Is that coffee or chocolate?
- Lachuch (aka Lahoh or Lahuh): A Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Challah Recipe
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Lunch and Learn: Tasting the Best Chocolate
- On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
- Other Wedding Bread Customs
- Recipe for Dabo: Ethiopian Pan Cooked Shabbat Bread
- Recipe for Fancy Shapes in Dough: Shaping Dough
- Saluf (aka Salouf or Saloof): Recipe for a Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- What is the Chocolate Babka Project?
- What's a Key (shlissel) Challah?
- What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
- Yeast Raised Khachapuri Recipe