UPDATE: This is my entry to Click, a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri. You can read my dedication to Bri at as well the bloggers’ appeal to support her HERE.
Nothing wrong about it but … honestly, I do crave Tandir Bread sometimes. Tandor or Tandoori as it is better known in the US. Nothing comes close to the taste of fresh bread baked in clay ovens. In Azerbaijan bread is eaten almost with any food, it is always there on the table. I love hot Tandir Bread with white cheese. Try it with fresh herbs on the side. Yum!
On the side note, bread is considered a sacred food in Azerbaijan. It is a symbol of abundance, prosperity. We don’t throw it in a trash can. If you see a piece of bread on the street, you would pick it up and put it aside, somewhere where nobody would step on it. Some people would even kiss it and touch the forehead with it. It’s the sign of respect to bread that feeds us.
Back to Tandir bread now. Although there are many varieties of bread sold in Azerbaijani bakeries, tandir bread is usually preferred over others on special occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties and holiday celebrations. Typically, warm slices of tandir bread are placed next to individual serving plates. Although nothing can replace the flavor of a real tandir bread I ate in Azerbaijan, here in the United States I use the following recipe to bake my favorite bread in my own kitchen. Are you ready to try it too? Here we go. And on’t forget to have fun too!
TANDIR (TANDOORI) BREAD / TENDIR CHOREYI
Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 1 medium bread
1 package (1/4 oz / 7g) dry yeast
1 ½ cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg yolk, for brushing
1 teaspoon poppy or sesame seeds (black or white)
1. In a small bowl, mix yeast with water until the yeast is dissolved.
2. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add salt and mix well. Gradually add the yeast-water mixture and stir in using your hand until a rough ball forms.
3. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press any loose dough pieces into the ball and knead the dough, punching it down with your fists, folding it over and turning. Knead for about 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the large bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or a plastic wrap.
5. Leave the dough to rise in a warm spot for about 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in bulk. The dough should look puffy and be soft when poked with a finger.
6. Punch down the dough, then transfer it onto a lightly floured surface.
7. Shape the dough into a ball, and with your hands flatten slightly and stretch it lengthwise. Using a rolling pin, start rolling the dough beginning at one end until you obtain a long flat bread about ½ inch thick (1.27cm), 14 inches long (35cm) and 8 inches (20cm) wide.
8. Carefully transfer the bread onto a non-stick baking sheet, fixing the shape as necessary. Leave the dough to rest on the sheet for another 15 minutes before baking.
9. Preheat the oven to 400?F (200?C).
10. Using a knife, make shallow crosshatching slashes on the bread, 4 from right to left and 4 the opposite way, each at a slight angle. Brush the bread evenly with the egg yolk and sprinkle with seeds.
11. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. NUSH OLSUN!