Baking in a tannur

After building a tannur, of course we had to try and bake in it. First of all, I fired the clay oven from the inside—maybe I should have also done it from the outside to really harden the clay. Then came the day to make some bread. I have to admit I decided to use some yeast to leaven the dough, rather than trying to get a sour dough going. Making a fire in an oven that has no opening near the bottom is not easy. With a few small twigs and the later use of charcoal, I finally managed—but not after creating quite some smoke. The first baking wasn’t very successful. The dough has to be the right consistency—soft enough to stick to the sides, but not too soft so that it sags. The second firing was more successful. First of all, the fire is lit and allowed to burn. Meanwhile I was busy forming smalls balls of dough. When the fire has burned down to embers, I flattened them into small breads. I then slapped a few of those flat bread loaves against the inside of the oven. After about 10 minutes the bread was fully baked and could be removed. I wasn’t always able to remove the bread without letting it fall into the fire. After all, it’s very hot in the oven and the bread has to be removed in one swift movement. But with some practice baking bread in that oven wouldn’t be too complicated I think. The women in ancient times would have probably baked their bread in a similar way.

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One Response to Baking in a tannur

  1. Pingback: More tannur experiments | Imagining the past: Archaeology and the Bible

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