Daniel Fast Flatbread and Peanut Hummus



Flatbread and Peanut Hummus which qualifies for the Daniel Fast!

Final Product!


In Daniel, 1:12, Daniel asked "Please test your servants for ten days.  Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink".  At the end of ten days they looked better than the men who had been eating the royal rations.  

Basically, no meats, no alcohol, nothing that would not have been available to Daniel and his men at the time.  Much is written on the 'Daniel Fast' in the Bible, and a plethora of interpretations you'll find on the internet.  Feel free to read for yourself.  My intent here is not to sell you on any concept.  But rather, to share some 'good stuff' that I've discovered on my way to the 21 Day Daniel Fast that our churchwide family begins on Monday.

As I seek to be more centered in my life and faith, I look at the Old Testament and I often see weeping, gnashing and gnarling of teeth.  I see much pain and destruction.

On the other hand, as I look at the New Testament, I see love, and hope, and happiness in the Name of Jesus the Christ.

So, in seeking to become more centered in my life in this New Decade, I plan to approach the Daniel Fast from a New Testament perspective.  That of rejoicing, loving, celebrating the positive in my life.  Making the absolute MOST of what I have, and concentrating much less on what I don't have.

In the process, I hope to also demonstrate that simple ingredients can not only be nourishing, as they were for Daniel and his peers, but you can also use these same simple ingredients which Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego ate then to prepare a daily feast to the Glory of God.

'Good Ole' Southern Boiled Peanuts

I've never been one who has cared at all about Hummus.  Kim and most of our friends love it, but not me.  THEN...   I discovered something simply awesome.  Let's make a hummus, but instead of those nasty old garbonzo beans one normally uses, let's incorporate a great Southern U.S. Delicacy --BOILED PEANUTS!   Yes, I said it Boiled Peanuts.  Even if you aren't from the Southern United States, you can still purchase them canned at your local grocer.  Won't have the character of a roadside peanut stand, but could come up a close second.

In the interest of preparation time, we're going to construct our Flatbread first, as it needs to rest for a half of to an hour.  While it's resting, we'll turn to the peanut hummus.

For this bread to qualify as a Daniel Fast bread, it has no leavening, and nothing that wouldn't have been available at the time.  So let's start with 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat stone ground flour.

No ingredients other than whole grain wheat.  Any grocer chain carries.  May have to look for it...

 Add to the flour 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal.  This ingredient is optional, as I only found large bags of flaxseed meal.  Alternatively, I did find small bags of flaxseed, and just used the food processor to grind my own. To grind your own, a bullet blender or a coffee grinder is perfect!  Just grind it up into a meal and you're all set.  Measure before you grind, and just pour it in on top of the whole grain flour.  Add one teaspoon dried crushed rosemary to the mix, and a teaspoon of salt.  Pour all the dry ingredients into your food processor and pulse a few times until you have it premixed.  At this point, begin constant processing and slowly add 1 cup of very warm water through the top.  Then, 'let her rip.'  Within about 30 seconds, miraculously, the mixture will begin toturn into a 'dough ball.'  By 90 seconds, you should be pretty close to a full dough ball.  Don't rush it.  Remove the dough ball from the processor and knead in your hands or on a whole grain floured surface for 5 minutes.  Spray a mixing bowl with olive or avocado oil, or lightly coat with olive oil, and place the dough ball in it, covering tightly with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest, tightly covered,  at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour.

Cover it tightly to rest for 45 to 60 minutes.




 While the dough rests, let's turn to  -- Boiled Peanut Hummus!!!







For a "Southerner",  the hardest part of this recipe is not eating the boiled peanuts and ending up with less than a cup of shelled peanuts.  Normal roadside plastic lined paper 'pokes' (bags) normally render a serving of about a cup and a half of boiled peanuts, so feel free to indulge your senses a bit, though.

Since this recipe is for a Daniel Fast, we want to make sure that we aren't putting anything into our food like preservatives, meats, artificial ingredients, and the like that wouldn't have been available to Daniel at the time.  So instead of purchasing tahini at the local grocer, we'll make our own!  Actually, having made my own tahini, I seriously doubt I'll ever buy it again.  Just too much fun to make.  Tahini is simply a paste, made from toasted sesame seeds and a non-flavored oil such as grapeseed oil or a light olive oil.  Personally, I prefer grapeseed oil, and readily have it on hand.

As to the sesame seeds, you can toast them yourself, or buy them toasted.  For me, part of the joy of cooking is the "scratch" aspect, so I go with the untoasted, light tan colored seeds.  For the recipe, we need basically two tablespoons, so I took a bigger recipe and tweaked it to make it mine, of the correct quantity I needed.  Who knows when I'd need tahini again...

Toasted sesame seeds on the left, untoasted on the right.  Note the difference in color.



Trust me, go with the untoasted seeds.  As Ali Baba and the Forty Theives said "Open Sesame" to open the cave of treasure, when you toast your own seeds, you will know exactly what I mean from the fragrance you open up in these very aromatic morsels.  And...it's so simple!

Untoasted seeds in a large skillet.


Begin with 1/4 cup of untoasted seeds into a large skillet.  Low to medium low heat, stirring constantly until you see the change to a darker color beginning.  Same as in my Big Green Egg cooking, "Low and Slow" is the key to success.  "The lower the heat, the longer it takes-The higher the heat, the faster it breaks."  You can quote me on that as an original, in any form of cooking.  Low to medium low, no more. At a high heat, you have no room to react, because the seed has gotten too hot.  It will burn, and it will burn fast.  (Didn't learn this lesson here.  I learned it melting sugar to make flan...  Same concept, exactly.)

Never stop stirring.  Unless you are a stovetop corn popping and flipping expert, in which case that method works fairly well.  As soon as you see the color start turning, and you will, remove from the heat, or raise it a few inches off the stovetop.  To stop the cook, as much as you can, pour them off into a large dinner plate to cool.  The cool plate will stop the cook fairly fast.  If you are anywhere past a light brown, you're risking a burned seed.

Properly toasted sesame seeds

Compare the color of the two pictures above.  At a low to medium low gas flame, the process is approaching five (5) minutes.  Remember "Low and Slow" from above.

Into the food processor with the toasted seeds, AFTER they've cooled.

After the seeds have cooled to room temperature, into the food processor they go.  Process until you have a crumbly paste beginning to form.  At this point, we're going for a creamy paste consistency, much like homemade peanut butter, only drier.  With one hand on the processor, add a tablespoon of your oil, in my case, grapeseed oil through the top opening of the food processor.  Let it settle in as you grind.  If it's started forming up on the sides of the food processor by now, open it up and scrape the sides down.  Add another tablespoon of oil as you repeat the process.  After about three tablespoons or so, you'll notice that the paste is kind of like a doughnut on the outside of the bowl, not 'sticking' to the sides anymore.  THAT is where you have just completed homemade Tahini!!!  Aren't you proud of yourself?!?  I know I am!!!

You should have about three tablespoons, just a bit more than you need for our Peanut Hummus recipe.  If you want more, just use the same process, just add more sesame seeds and grapeseed oil in the same process (Roughly three tablespoons of grapeseed oil per 1/4 cup sesame seed).  The original recipes I reviewed called for a cup of sesame seeds.  That's two regular spice bottles, and about $7-$10.  Although it will keep in the fridge for a month, how often do you use tahini...  So I adapted the recipes I saw to come up with just what I need.  Plus, it's fun to make, takes less than 10 minutes, and it's FRESH!

Scoop two tablespoons of the tahini into a container.  Cover it up for use in our Peanut Hummus in just a few!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees at this point.

Any small container, because you're going to use it all in a few minutes...



Clean up the food processor from the tahini construction, and let's make some peanut hummus!

Into the food processor, the cup of boiled peanuts, 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 small peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.  Pulse until combined.  After combined, continue with processor running and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  If using a measuring spoon, it's fine to stop processing to refill your measuring spoon. After this addition, you should be getting a fairly thick paste.

All dry ingredients in before the mix.
Continue the pureé process, adding one tablespoon of WATER at a time, slowly, until you achieve a smooth hummus.  It varies from batch to batch, depending upon a lot of factors like humidity, nut consistency, etc., but don't expect to be there before three or four tablespoons.  Using the 'low and slow' theory, I open up after the third tablespoon and manually check for smoothness.  At this point, it's completely up to you as to how much water you use, just remember you're looking for the consistency of a 'spreadable', not 'runny' end product.

Transfer to a sealable pyrex or other serving container till ready to serve.  Seal it up until ready to serve.  No need for immediate refrigeration, as there's nothing in it to spoil.  If left unsealed for an extended period, however, it will need stirring, so keep it sealed, and don't add your final garnishes until you are ready to present it for consumption.

Ready to serve, garnished with a flowered grape tomato and a swirl of light olive oil.


Hummus completed, after the elapsed time, let's turn back to our flatbread.

Using an 11x17 baking sheet, spray it with olive oil or avocado oil.  (Not PAM or other types spray oil.)  Alternatively, lightly hand coat the baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil.  Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, and roll it out to no more than 3/16 inch thick.



Using a dinner fork, make plenty of holes on the entire surface of the dough.

Mix 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a small bowl, stirring well.  Using a basting brush, cover the surface of the dough with this mixture.

Next, score, deeply with a knife into small 'dipping' squares.  I used my tomato knife, simply pushing it in across the dough, not dragging it to make a full cut.

"Score" deeply, not "Cut into Slices"
The net result is that, after baking, you will break the pieces apart like you would a graham cracker.

Transfer to oven for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly crispy.  I always set my timer when baking to a shorter period, check, then add time to the timer.  In this case, I checked at 15 minutes initially, then ended up at about 22 minutes when it "suited" me as to doneness.  You're on your own here.

Transfer to a wire rack if you have one for at least 10 minutes to rest.  Alternatively, let it rest on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, choose a serving dish large enough for the bowl of hummus and bread pieces.  I garnish with a cherry (or grape) tomato cut into a flower, and a swirl of light olive oil.  You might also try a dusting of smoked paprika, some finely grated sweet onion, or other garnish.  Get creative, but remember your taste buds with a garnish.  Don't want to overpower the hummus.  I even thought about a quarter teaspoon for finely crushed raw peanuts (which I had on hand).  Maybe next time.  Mainly, be creative in your garnishes.

We have a large herb garden, even in the wintertime, so I added some parsley sprigs, the flatbread pieces, and we're all done!

Enjoy!

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RECIPE

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Ingredients

1 cup shelled boiled peanuts (preferably fresh from a roadside stand. If unavailable, canned)
1/4 cup unroasted sesame seeds
3-5 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 small garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (hummus)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (flatbread)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 1/2 cups whole grain flour (wheat, spelt, brown rice, etc.)
2 tablespoons flaxseed or flaxseed meal (optional)
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon salt (flatbread)
1/2 teaspoon salt (hummus) 
1 cup very warm water
Parsley or other green garnish
Grape or cherry tomato (optional)

Instructions
In order, to minimize prep time

Flatbread

Into a measuring cup, add  2 1/2 cups whole grain flour, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (or freshly ground flaxseed).  Add 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt.  Transfer dry ingredients to food processor.  Pulse for 15 seconds to premix.  Through top opening, with processor running constant, slowly add 1 cup of very warm water.  Continue to process until the mixture begins forming a dough ball, and until the dough ball has completely formed, with little or no loose items left in the processor, generally a total of about 90 seconds from the addition of the water.  Don't rush it.  It will ball up.

Remove dough from food processor and knead in your hands or on a whole grain flour covered surface for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a mixing bowl, covering tightly, to rest for 45 minutes to an hour.

Tahini

Measure 1/4 cup unroasted sesame seeds into a large skillet.  On low to medium low heat, constantly stir the seeds until they begin to turn to a light to medium color, 3 to 5 minutes, depending upon heat level.  Remove from heat to a dinner plate to cool.  When cooled, transfer to food processor.  Process until a coarse paste begins to form.  While continuing processing, add one tablespoon grapeseed oil.  After a few seconds, add a second tablespoon of grapeseed oil.  After 5 seconds, open processor and scrape down the sides.  Continue pureé and add a third tablespoon of grapeseed oil.  May need to scrape sides again.  At this point you may be seeing the transformation into a thick but creamy paste, not the coarse paste you started with.  If not, after 5 more seconds or so, add another tablespoon of grapeseed oil, but only if necessary.  Fully processed, remove from food processor.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the tahini.  Discard remainder.

Peanut Hummus

Set oven to preheat at 400 degrees for the upcoming flatbread before you begin this step.

Into the food processor, add 1 cup of shelled boiled peanuts, 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 small peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.  Pulse until combined.  After combined, continue processing and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When you've reached this stage, add one tablespoon of water at a time, continuing the pureé, until you've reached a smooth, but firm, consistency.  You can stop the pureé and check the consistency a few seconds after each tablespoon of WATER.  Pureé and water until you reach your desired consistency, but firm, not fluid.  Transfer to a sealable serving dish such as a glass pyrex bowl of at least 2 cups in size.  Seal until ready for the final garnish and presentation.

Flatbread Finishing

In a small bowl or dish, combine 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, mixing well.  Set aside.

Lightly olive oil (or avocado oil) or spray, an 11 by 17 inch baking sheet.  Transfer dough to baking sheet and roll to no more than 3/16 inches thick.  Liberally punch holes in dough with a dinner fork.  Using a basting brush, cover the surface of the dough with the oil and herb mixture.

Score the dough into 'dipping' pieces of approximately 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches.  Don't worry that they come out in irregular sizes.

Transfer to oven for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly crispy.

Remove from oven to a wire rack and allow at least 10 minutes to rest.  Alternatively, let it rest on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes.

To serve, in a medium serving dish, place the hummus bowl, then some green garnish.  Break the bread pieces and place around or beside the hummus.  Add a light swirl of light olive oil to the hummus, and optionally, a flower cut grape tomato, or other garnish of your choice.

Enjoy!


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