Sheermal/Shirmal – Saffron flavored flat-bread, We Knead to bake#22

Sheermal or Shirmal is a persian influenced flat-bread that is mildly sweet and saffron-flavored flat-bread, which is quite famous in Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and also well known in Lucknow and Hyderabad too.
A Flat bread well known in Awadhi cuisine, made using All purpose flour, leavened with yeast and baked in a tandoor oven. The bread tastes delicious if paired with a non-vegetarian curry. But it was good when we had it last night with a Mixed Vegetable curry.
Previously the dough was made using water, but these days it is made ent

irely using milk and mildly sweetened with sugar and and flavored with saffron. They are also garnished with raisins or topped with almonds or other nuts, to give them a royal taste.

I made two batches of this rich bread. During the first batch, I baked them a little extra and got a brown top, the second batch i watched the time and  got the perfect saffrony golden hue on top!!!  
1 Cup All Purpose flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Cup warm milk (See notes)
1/2 tsp kewra water/screwpine water
a generous pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk
2 tbsp ghee + 1 tbsp for brushing the baked sheermal

  • I used my food processor to knead the dough, you can either use one or knead it with your hands. Take flour, salt. sugar and yeast in your processor bowl and pulse it twice to combine well. 
  • Now slowly add ghee to this  and pulse the flour to resemble bread crumbs. Now add warm milk to this and knead well to form dough. Add kewra/screwpine essence at the last and knead for around 5 minutes in the processor to get a smooth soft dough.
  • Now keep the kneaded dough in a well oiled bowl  and let it rest in a warm place for around an hour or until well doubled. I kept it inside my Oven with the lights on.
  • Once it  doubles, take it out and knead it well for another 5 minutes and Let it rest, covered in a damp cloth for another 15-20 minutes.
  • The dough would have doubled again in this time, now flour your kneading surface well. Remove the dough to the kneading surface and divide into 4 equal parts. 
  • Flatten each part into a round disc 4 inches in diameter and place it on a greased baking tray. Using a fork, prick all over the rolled out sheermal. Brush them generously with saffron milk.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the sheermal for 15-20  minutes or until they turn lovely golden brown. I have used my gas oven to bake, so i preheated it for 15 minutes @ 220C and reduced the temperature to 180C before putting the sheermal inside. I baked them for around 20 minutes to get it done. 
  • Take care not to overbake them. They should have that golden color on top and not a brown. 
  • The first time i tried, i baked them a bit too much and it turned a brown, though the taste was good, that color what it makes it so attractive.
Sending these to Come, join us for Breakfast, a monthly event happenign @ +srivalli jetti‘s space.

  • I have halved the original recipe and made 4 mini flat-breads to get small portions. 
  • The Original recipe uses one egg, i have skipped it and used 1/4 cup milk extra.  So, if using Egg, just reduced the liquid quantity And also the original recipe used a portion water, i have used milk entirely to make the dough.
  • The photos here are of the second batch i baked, while doing the second batch, i added a little of the saffron milk to the dough, so the end product has a beautiful saffrony hue. 
  • If you do not want to use Kewra essence, then try using rose essence or a tsp of powdered cardamom to flavor the bread.