Spelt does take some getting used to, not in taste but in the amount of liquid it needs, specifically less. It creates a much stickier dough and doesn't rise as much as wheat since it has less gluten than wheat flour. So experimenting has been happening and happily these spelt flatbreads turned out swimmingly!
The trick to making great falafel is to only soak the chick peas, Do Not Cook Them! And then make the mixture and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours; this helps it stick together. Of course this requires a little planning ahead, but then all you have to do is bake them and you can make the flatbread while the falafels are in the oven! Easy peasy!
Don't be daunted by what appears to be a long recipe to follow, it includes the falafel and tahini dressing as well. As for the veggies on the falafel, it's simply chopped tomatoes, cucumber and shallots. Vary that as you like.
I am linking this post to My Legume Love Affair, a fun blog event that Susan of The Well Seasoned Kitchen created and Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen now continues. Legumes have always been a favorite of mine but with my increased cooking of Indian cuisine, they are a weekly staple. This of course is Eastern Mediterranean in origin but the chick peas/ceci/garbanzo is still one of my all time favorites!
Falafel with Spelt Flatbread (Falafel inspired by Closet Cooking)
Spelt Flatbread (from Oh She Glows)
(makes 6 small ones)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup almost boiling water
Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl and combine well. Add olive oil and water and mix to combine all flour and water; you will have a shaggy dough that will feel somewhat sticky. If it's really sticky, add a little flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough doesn't stick to your hands anymore. Mix it with a spoon or your hands to form it into a ball and place it in the bowl to rest.
Heat a flat skillet over medium high heat. Using a rubber spatula dipped in water, scoop out about a golf size ball of dough and keeping your hands well dusted with flour, gently shape it into a rough circle. It will be very stretchy so be careful about tears, although you can press holes back together. Drop it on the hot skillet and allow to cook on each side until light brown spots begin to form. It will not puff up like regular wheat flatbreads, so note how the texture changes when the dough is cooked. Repeat with the remaining dough and keep them in a tea cloth or between to ceramic plates until you have finished. Serve with falafel
2 cups chick peas (measured after soaking), soaked in water for at least 8 hours, drained
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 packed cups parsley and cilantro, leaves and stems
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest from 1 lemon
Tahini Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
water to thin
Combine tahini and lemon juice and whisk to combine well; add honey if using and whisk it in. Thin with water to desired consistency. Set aside.
In bowl of food processor, pulse chick peas, garlic, and shallots until well combined. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine, scraping down the sides to get it all mixed in. It should begin to stick together. Remove mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using tablespoon, scoop up mixture and form a ball, flattening gently and place on oil baking sheet; spray tops with oil. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip and spray tops and bake another 15 minutes until nicely browned and crispy. Serve with tahini dipping sauce.