For the love of onions – Sumerian Flat Bread

Onions, gotta love ’em. Really. I didn’t like them as a kid, but I do now, I use them every day in cooking. The onions in the photo were obviously photographed during the summer, but now that they’re cured and ready to eat, I want to share an easy recipe with you for flat bread that has onions as an ingredient. It’s adapted from my book The Wild & Weedy Apothecary. The bread is good on it’s own, as trail bread, or with salads and raw veggies.

Sumerian Flat Bread
1 cup barley flour, plus a little for kneading
1/2 cup sesame seed meal (coarsely grind in the blender,
but don’t make a paste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup cold water
Whole sesame seeds and coarse salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir the barley flour, sesame meal and salt with the onions, then work in the oil. With a fork, stir in water a little at a time, mixing until dough leaves sides of bowl and holds together. Knead the dough, adding a bit of flour if necessary, until soft and pliable, about 7 or 8 minutes. Cut dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a ball, then rolling each ball into a small disc about 1/4-inch thick or so. It helps to roll out the dough between floury sheets of waxed paper. Sprinkle a few whole sesame seeds and a bit of the coarse salt onto each flatbread, pressing in with the palm of your hand. Place the discs on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they turn golden. Let cool on rack.
The Sumerians are considered one of the first settled societies in the world, developing in the very cradle of western civilization, the fertile crescent of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. They devised the 60-minute hour and were well-known astronomers as well. It’s hard to imagine, with our calculators, computers, wireless phones and so on, that the ancients of ancients could follow the stars and count time better than us, with all our gadgets.
All this, and the love of onions, too!

©  Doreen Shababy

barley with sheaf
growing great onions