The scent of baking flatbread wafts through the neighborhoods of Uzbekistan. The iconic Uzbek round bread combines basic ingredients, old-world style baking in fiery tandyr ovens, and unique artistic flair created by chekich or Uzbek bread stamp tools. The result is a deliciously golden flatbread with any design from pinprick holes to complex floral, braid, and geometric patterns.
Diverse Varieties of Uzbek Non
Although the reverence for this tasty bread covers all of Uzbekistan, different regions offer diverse takes on the popular food. Tashkent non, from the area of the same name, has a chewy crust and a soft middle with an airy weight to it. Other regions have dryer or denser offerings.
A common Uzbek flatbread recipe calls for nothing more than yeast, water, all-purpose and whole wheat flour, salt, and a milk and egg wash to brush on during the baking process. Other Lepeshka bread recipe suggestions include various seeds like sesame or nigella to sprinkle on top.
The secret to creating the delicious flatbread is the bread stamp that both flattens the risen dough and imparts its artistic appearance.
Traditional Bread Stamp Design
The oldest method for flattening the dough and creating a personal style on the finished food was done with a simple fork. Lightly stab the risen dough to deflate it somewhat and make interesting stipples or a geometric design on the bread surface.
The bakers of Uzbekistan quickly learned how to make a bread stamp that was more convenient to use and resulted in more attractive designs. A wooden handle with a wide, flat end makes using the stamps easy. Metal pins nailed into the wood form a pattern of points. These usually have symmetrical geometric or floral shapes.
While it may be possible to craft a bread stamp of your own with no-head nails or sturdy pins, finding a beautiful Uzbek bread stamp for sale makes more sense. Not only do you get quality craftsmanship but also a more authentic piece of Central Asian folk art for your kitchen collection.
Although nothing beats a stroll through an Uzbekistan market with stacks of golden non on either side and the aroma of fresh-baked bread in the air, with the right recipe and an authentic Uzbek bread stamp on hand, you can enjoy this traditional food at home.