Shrak is traditional Arabic unleavened one-layered flatbread that is made from whole wheat flour, water, and salt. It is typically made into very large breads, which might reach around three feet in diameter, and baked on a large dome-shaped metal griddle called “Saj.” It is quick to make, healthy to eat, and easy to digest.
Unleavened bread means that it is made without any leavening agents (i.e. raising agents) such as yeast or baking soda. Different types of Arabic bread are flatbread but not all of them are unleavened; such as Pita bread, which is slightly leavened, the Iraqi Tannour bread, and Taboon bread, which are heavily leavened.
Shrak, Markook, or Rkak is specially popular in Jordan and Palestine but is also made in other Levantine, North African, and Gulf countries. The name of this flatbread differs from one country to another. It is called Shrak in Jordan, Markook in Palestine, and Rkak in Iraq, United Arab Emarites, and other Gulf and North African countries. The recipe for making this flatbread is almost the same in all Arab counties where it is famous. The same ingredients are used, but the consistency of the dough differs ranging from slightly firm to slightly liquidy.
Although all Arab countries that make Shrak use it for Shawarma, the ways this flatbread is eaten differ in each of these countries. While it is a base ingredient of Jordan’s national dish, Mansaf, it is used to make delicious Mussakhan rolls in Palestine. It may be used in Thareed dishes in some Gulf countries, or simply rolled with some cream and honey in North African countries.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yields 9 breads
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- In a bowl, mix the three dry ingredients.
- Start adding the warm water gradually, while stirring with hand or spatula, until a dough is formed.
- Keep kneading the dough until it gets elastic and smooth. Cover with a towel or a plastic wrap and keep it aside to rest.
- Preheat your Saj to 450°F.
- Divide the dough into 9 equal sized balls.
- Sprinkle your work top with some flour and start flattening your dough balls with a rolling pin.
- Place each flat dough sheet on the Saj individually and bake on one side only for about 30 seconds or until bubbles emerge and edges turn golden.
- Remove the bread from the Saj and cover with a damp towel.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
- You might need less or more water depending on the type and quality of the flour you use.
- You can alternatively make this recipe entirely with whole wheat flour.
- When flattening the dough, do it as wide as you possibly can as Shrak bread is almost translucent.
- If you don’t have access to any type of Saj, you can use any dome-shaped metal kitchenware you have by placing it upside down on the stove or in the oven.
- Extra pieces of bread may be stored frozen in Ziploc bags.