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.
Zooming for Challah
Thank you to The Jewish Week’s Food and Wine for running my story, “Zooming for Challah.” The internet has been popping with real-time challah baking sessions since shelter in place began. These free pre-Shabbat meet ups nourish a hunger for recipes, relief, rituals, and relationships. Despite nationwide yeast and flour shortages, longtime bakers and novicesRead more ›
Celebrate the First Shabbat After Passover with a Shlissel Challah
Hasidic communities mark the first Shabbat after Passover with a special challah as they transition back to the world of chametz. They shape the first post-Passover Shabbat challah into a key. The key, or shlissel as it is called in Yiddish, is meant to symbolize openings, passageways, and transition. Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro of Kovitz (b.Read more ›
Atayef: Double Fried Filled Pancakes for Chanukah
Aka Ataïf, atayif, qata’if, qatayif, katayef, these pancakes may be filled with nuts or also prepared with cheese fillings for Chanukah or Shavuot. They are also popular at weddings spread with cream and rose petal jam or simply topped with pistachios or almonds. This recipe guides you through a nut stuffed option. Read my storyRead more ›
Panettone for Breakfast?
While we tend to think of panettone as a Christmas bread, Jewish food writer Edda Servi Machlin shared this version of panettone from her childhood experiences in Italy of eating it for breakfast. She provides an authentic yet simpler process than most panettone recipes and a very tasty one at that. Enjoy it whenever youRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Ambasha (aka Himbasha, Hambasha) Ethiopian Wedding Bread
- Boulou: North African Orange Bread
- Challah Dough for Shaping
- Cheese Babka Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Chronicles: Inventions & Elections
- Kaak: Recipe for Crunchy Yeast Biscuits
- Lachuch (aka Lahoh or Lahuh): A Yemenite Flatbread for Shabbat
- Los Siete Cielos or Seven Heaven Challah Recipe
- Other Wedding Bread Customs
- Pan de Calabaza: Pumpkin Challah
- Panettone for Breakfast?
- 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
- Seeking A Shikker Challah
- What is the Chocolate Babka Project?
- What's a Key (shlissel) Challah?
- What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
- Yeast Raised Khachapuri Recipe
- Yemarina Yewotet Dabo: Ethiopian Honey Bread