Although the first poee were made using fermented toddy, that practice is almost obsolete now, considering the difficulty in procuring the liquor and the relative ease of finding commercial yeast. Like pita, poee greatly benefits from the use of a pizza stone during its preparation, as the stone traps the high heat of the oven and allows the poee to puff up and cook well on the inside in just a couple of minutes.
- 700 gm maida
- 60 gm wheat bran
- 10 gm fresh or instant yeast
- 5 gm salt
- 5 gm sugar
- 300 ml lukewarm water (more or less, as required)
- Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl or basin.
- In a smaller bowl, place the yeast and sugar and pour over half the lukewarm water. Leave in a warm spot for about five to ten minutes, until frothy.
- Pour the frothy yeast into the flour and mix into a dough, adding the rest of the water (as required) to make a soft dough.
- Tip onto your kitchen counter and knead well for five to eight minutes, until you have a soft and easy-to-shape dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a damp muslin cloth and leave in a warm spot to double in size (about twenty to forty minutes).
- Punch the dough to release the gas and divide the dough into the six portions, shaping each into a ball. Cover and leave to rest again for fifteen to twenty minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
- Liberally coat each ball in wheat bran, pressing the balls to flatten them in the bran.
- Roll out each ball of dough to about six inches in diameter and a quarter inch in thickness.
- Slap onto a pizza stone preheated in the oven or on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil and bake for about five minutes at the highest temperature your oven can go to. Remove when puffed and just beginning to brown. Serve warm or cold.
Excerpted with permission from Crumbs!: Bread Stories and Recipes for the Indian Kitchen, Saee Koranne-Khandekar, Hachette India.