FEATURED RECIPE

Jingalov Hats

Jingalov Hats
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John Lee

FLATBREADS FILLED WITH GREENS

“Did you eat jingalov hats?” That’s the first question anyone in Yerevan asked us when we said we had visited Artsakh. If they had known earlier, they may have asked us to bring back a box of these beloved flatbreads from the bazaar in Stepanakert, the small republic’s capital city.

These breads—hats in Armenian—look like flat footballs and are filled to the brim with herbs and greens. Some bakers claim they use more than twenty types of greens to achieve optimal flavor. This is easier in the spring, when foraged herbs—some of them rarely seen outside of Armenia—pad the numbers. By November, the number dwindles to “merely” a dozen herbs and greens. To get the best mix from what’s available near you, see Jingalov Hats Herbs and Greens (below).

When making jingalov hats, mix the dough first and let it rest while you finely chop all of the greens and herbs. It’s best to wash the greens the day before or earlier the day of so they are dry when you are ready to chop them, making it easier to slice them as thinly as possible (this helps them cook quickly inside the flatbread as you griddle it). By the time you’re done chopping, the dough will be ready to portion. For cooking the hats, Artsakh cooks prefer a cast-iron saj, but a large griddle that covers two burners works just as well. If you have extra dough from making Lavash, you can use it in place of the dough called for here for a slightly puffier version. And if you run out of greens, roll out the extra dough and griddle it as if it were lavash.

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

  • â…” cup [160 ml] lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ cups [210 g] all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

FILLING

  • 8 heaping cups [440 g] finely sliced greens and herbs (see Jingalov Hats Herbs and Greens, below), such as:

    – 4 cups [220 g] neutral greens
    – 2 cups [110 g] herbal herbs
    - 2 cups [110 g] sour greens and herbs
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1½ Tbsp sunflower oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the water and salt. Add the flour gradually with your hands to incorporate. Knead briefly in the bowl. (It’s okay if it’s slightly sticky at this point.)
  2. Dust the counter with flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead until it is just starting to become smooth, about 4 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rest while you chop the greens and herbs. It will soften and become smoother as it rests.
  3. After at least 20 minutes (or up to an hour), place the dough on the floured counter and divide it into four equal pieces, about 3 oz [85 g] each. To shape the dough, cup the palm of your hand over one portion at a time and move your hand in a circle. The friction from the counter will help form the dough into a ball. If there is too much flour on the surface and the dough is sliding around, give the counter a spritz of water and try again.
  4. To make the filling, mix the greens with the green onions, paprika, salt, red pepper flakes, oil, and lemon juice, mixing well with your hands to ensure everything is seasoned.
  5. To shape the jingalov hats, lightly dust the counter with flour. Pat a ball of dough into a round. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin circle about 8 in [20 cm] in diameter.
  6. Place about 2 cups [110 g] of the filling in the center of the dough circle. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if using. Pick up two sides of the circle and pinch them together over the center of the filling, almost like sealing pie crust. (See page 62 for the step-by-step sequence.) Continue to pinch the edges together from top to bottom so that the middle is wide and the ends form points. When you get to the end, tuck in the tip so it’s sealed but ensure that there is filling all the way to the tip.
  7. Firmly press the seam with the edge of your hand to ensure the dough is sealed. Turn over and flatten the dough with the palm of your hand so that it resembles a deflated football. It should be ¼ to ½ in [6 to12 mm] thick. If thicker, roll with a rolling pin to flatten.
  8. To cook the jingalov hats, heat a 20 in [50 cm] cast-iron griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Place the filled dough, seam-side down, in the center. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 2½ to 3 minutes, until it is evenly brown. Flip over and continue to cook on the remaining side for another 2 minutes. If the dough still seems a little pale or raw, adjust the heat to medium-high and continue to cook the flatbread, flipping it over now and again so it cooks evenly. While the first flatbread cooks, start rolling out and filling the dough for the second jingalov hats.
  9. Using a spatula, transfer the cooked flatbread to a serving platter and repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature. Alternatively, cool completely and freeze for up to 2 months. Jingalov hats can be reheated by popping them in the oven at 400ÂşF [200ÂşC] for about 10 minutes, or until hot and crispy on the edges. Otherwise, extra jingalov hats keep for a day at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
JINGALOV HATS HERBS AND GREENS
NEUTRAL OR EARTHY

Slice thick stem ends separately and very thinly.

  • Beet greens
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Purslane
  • Spinach
HERBAL

Slice herb stems with leaves, only removing stems if tough.

  • Chervil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Flat-leaf parsley
  • Tarragon
SOUR

When necessary, slice thick stem ends separately and very thinly.

  • Dandelion greens
  • Radish tops
  • Sorrel
  • Watercress

From Lavash, by Kate Leahy, John Lee, and Ara Zada (Chronicle Books, 2019).

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