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Getting into flatbreads

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What places in South and Middle OC have the best flatbreads and what kind are they? Whose home-made recipes are the best based on your experience? I'm talking beyond tortillas and pitas. I know about Wholesome Foods sangak (???) so that's the level I'm talking about. Personally I've made some of lentil flour and brown rice flour, and besan (???) and wheat flour. All suggestions welcome.

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  1. I like the Wholesome Choice sangak, but I think the one across town at Super Irvine is better still. WC's oven uses a deck made of stones, whereas SI's deck is made of steel or iron, and gives the SI bread a darker, crispier bottom crust. The SI dough uses more whole wheat flour, and I think, might add a little more wheat-sweetness to the final product.

    The wait at WC can also get irritatingly long, and on really busy days, there's inevitably some pushy assh@$$! that feels entitled to cut the line until I snap their heads off.

    You might also try the Northern Chinese flatbreads at Ma's Islamic in Anaheim. They're quite good.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      PLEASE do snap it. Their sense of etiquette goes out the window at these stores. I don't know why but if you confront them you'll see how unaware they are (+ how well they lie).

      1. re: Professor Salt

        The best thing about WC is that you're only a hop, step, and jump away from that most-wholesome choice -- a Strickland's turtle sundae!

        Glad to hear that you snap the line-cutters heads off, Salt. I've found that the more polite I am in stopping these time-thieves, the more ridiculous are their stories and explanations.

        -----
        Wholesome Choice
        18040 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

        Strickland's
        4523 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA

        1. re: Professor Salt

          I bite their heads off all the time. "Get on the back of the line." "I don't want to hear about it, you go to the back of the line where you belong!"

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            ubergut of you.

            Next time I'm down there I will have to try the fresh sangak, as I buy all mine wrapped in plastic.

            Sangak is supposed to have voids and holes, from the rocks underground that they're traditionally roasted atop. I'm not sure what they're doing in 2009 in California though.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I know this part of thread is a little venting/silly but can I say I even have had this happen by people on their cell phone a couple times, and the idea that you can't get off your phone while you are at the checkout, oh me, another silly peeve I know but yikes!
              I miss some things about Orange County and some of these markets thought! Is there an equivalent to Super Irvine in LA area?

            2. re: Professor Salt

              I should add that the sangak at Super Irvine varies ALOT in quality. Sometimes, the dough is stretched out much too thin, and the loaf comes out with big voids rimmed with inedible char. At times like this, you'l wonder why I sent you there.

              Other times, the bread is brilliant: darkly roasty, crisp crust, and fantastically chewy, moist crumb. Perfect combination of toasty and sweet flavors, and soft and hard textures. Luckily, I live down the street and playing the roulette wheel doesn't inconvenience me too much.

              1. re: Professor Salt

                In Morocco long ago I tried to take a photo of a baker, from across the street, who was putting some kind of flat bread, like sangak, into a wood fired oven in his open bakery. He shielded himself from the photo, angry at what I was doing, by raising his arm and hiding his face. I should have known better. But in that time going from Tangiers to Rabat to Marrakesh, I got the impression that the quality of the flat breads varied regularly and that was a hallmark of the baking. No big bread company made them. Maybe that's authenticity you're commenting on.

            3. Sangak is good, but there ought to be some places like Chinese restaurants that make scallion type flatbreads and Indian places that makes nan and other flat breads. Or maybe not?

              1 Reply
              1. re: EclecticEater

                Sure... Mas Islamic Cuisine in Anaheim, on Orangethorpe between Raymond and Lemon, makes amazing da bing -- scallion flatbread. I like the thinner version better than the thicker.

              2. I recently surveyed the three local sangak bakeries, Wholesome Choice, Super Irvine, (mentioned in this thread), plus Mission Ranch Market... MRM came out on top! Here's a longer writeup: http://www.ocfoodnation.com/EatNice/i...

                For homemade, Alford's and Duguid's Flatbreads and Flavors is helpful. Also there is a very good tutorial for pita in the Lebanese cooking course on eGullet.org: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...