A Syrian-style tandoori flatbread.
This recipe comes from bread makers at Lemon Tree Trust’s Azadi Community Garden at Domiz 1 refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Camp residents, displaced by the war in Syria, make this bread as a tasty reminder of home, using a tannour (a traditional, wood-fired, domed oven) built in the garden by the charity. See the article from True Loaf magazine issue 57.
Similar breads, made in similar ovens, feature in cuisines of countries and cultures right across the Middle East and Asia.
Each person’s recipe for this type of bread differs and this particular one is much lower hydration than you might be used to.
1 kg white flour*, sifted to remove any lumps
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fast-acting yeast**
240-350ml water (approx)
Sesame seeds and/or nigella seeds for garnishing (optional)
*Most of the bakers choose white, but wholemeal is sometimes used.
**Read the ingredients and avoid any brand that contains additives.
- Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl.
- Add the water, little by little, to the dry ingredients, mixing continuously until you have a smooth and elastic dough.
- Cover the dough and let it rest in a slightly cool and dry place to rise for three to four hours.
- Light a strong fire inside the tannour to pre-heat the oven.
- Once the oven walls are heated through, add more firewood and allow to burn down to embers.
- Divide the dough into pieces, roughly the size of tennis balls.
- Shape each dough piece into a disc. The size is up to you, but perhaps 30cm to 55cm in diameter.
- Slightly dampen the upper surface of each piece of dough and (if you want to) sprinkle with a small amount of sesame and/or nigella seeds.
- Stick each piece of shaped dough, dry/seedless side down, to the inside wall of the tannour, with a quick and decisive action. Some bakers do this using a special cushion-like pad, others just with their hand. Don’t allow your hand to make contact with the oven, or stay in it for more than a second.
- Allow the bread to baked until golden brown. Depending on the heat of the oven and thickness of the dough, this might take minutes or up to an hour.
- Once full-baked, carefully remove the bread from the oven, either by hand or using something heatproof to hook each piece of the oven wall.
Recipe text © 2023 Lemon Tree Trust.
Reproduction prohibited without written agreement of the copyright holder.
If you make this, please share your photo(s) with the world on social media using #RealBread and other relevant hashtags, linking back to this recipe. Better still if we can see you in the photo, too: #WeAreRealBread!
Please don't forget to tag us, and the recipe's author. You can find us on:
Published Wednesday 10 January 2024
Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.