Harissa infused olive oil + extra for brushing and greasing the bowl
For the flatbread:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flour and salt.
In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring jug, place the sugar. Pour the warm water over top and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water mixture and let stand for three to five minutes, until the yeast is dissolved and has started to froth. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture, scraping out any extra yeast that may be stuck to the side of the bowl. Add the olive oil and turn the mixer onto its lowest setting for eight to ten minutes, watching the dough to ensure that it is fully incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
If the dough seems overly dry, add one to two teaspoons of water, although I’ve never had to do that. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, remove the dough hook, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the dough, and turn the dough to coat it evenly in the oil. (At this point you can freeze the dough for later, if you like.) Cover with a dry tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draftfree spot for 25–30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Gently dust a cookie sheet with flour and set aside. Divide the dough into six to eight pieces (depending on how large you’d like the finished loaves to be) and form each piece into a ball. Place each ball on the floured cookie sheet. Dust them gently with flour, cover with a dry tea towel, then let rise for another 25 minutes, until the balls have risen until doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place an oven rack in the second-lowest position. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to warm. If not, thoroughly grease a second cookie sheet and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, gently form one ball at a time into a 20 to 25 centimeter circle with your hands. They don’t need to be perfectly round, they can be very rustic-looking, and if they have lots of dimples, that’s a good thing. Place the flattened dough on a floured surface. If you’re adding spices, brush the dough with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle the spices over top. Working with one ball of dough at a time, gently place the dough on the oiled cookie sheet or hot pizza stone and bake for five minutes. The dough will puff up and turn slightly golden around the edges, although it will still be quite pale in color. As long as it looks pillowed, it will be cooked through. Lift the loaves off the tray or stone with tongs and set on a cutting board to rest, stacking them on top of each other so they keep warm. If you didn’t add any spices to the loaves, brush them with a little bit of olive oil as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve immediately. (I like to wrap them in a tea towel to keep them warm on the table.) You can store these in an airtight container for up to three days, although they’re best enjoyed the day they are made. They are also delicious in fattoush salad if they’ve gone a bit stale.
You can store the unrisen, unbaked dough in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to bake it, let it thaw and rise in the fridge, then shape and bake as above.
For the beet dip:
Peel the beets and cut them into quarters. To roast them, preheat the oven to 400°F, wrap the beets tightly in aluminum foil, and roast until tender (a knife should slip in easily), about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the fridge.
To boil them, bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat, add the chopped beets, and boil until tender (a knife should slip in easily), 15–20 minutes. Drain the beets and allow to cool completely in the fridge. Roughly chop the garlic and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cooled beets, pickled beets, and pulse to break them up a bit, then add the tahini, yogurt, balsamic, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Blend until combined but not completely smooth. The dip should have a bit of texture.
Spread on a serving plate or in a bowl, garnish with sprigs of parsley, a sprinkle of nigella seeds, and a hearty drizzle of olive oil. Serve with vegetables and flatbread.
You can store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.