Crunchy yet soft, simple, yet full of flavor, traditional non Uzbek bread comes in different tastes and designs depending on where you find it in the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan. Tashkent non comes from the region near the city of the same name in the eastern part of the country. Samarkand bread comes from the southern region. Other areas and neighborhoods have specific names of their own, but they all share the love of their delicious Uzbek bread tradition.
You can find round loaves of the bread at any indoor or outdoor market you walk by. Different bakers may use slightly different recipes and decorate the bread differently. Many use decorative bread stamps to flatten the loaves in the middle and create geometric or floral motifs in the dough.
Uzbek Bread Recipe
The recipe for this delicious flatbread is surprisingly simple. The only ingredients needed are flour, water, salt, and yeast and warm water to rise the dough. Many bakers add seeds or other tasty bits to the top. Popular ones include nigella seeds, sesame seeds, or even small chunks of onion. Breads baked for special occasions like engagements frequently have designs in colored seeds of pink, yellow, and green. Some finish the dough with a milk or egg wash to give it a crisper, shinier crust.
When the dough has risen appropriately, there is one more step before baking that makes Uzbek bread unique. The baker or nonvoy takes a bread stamp and pokes down the middle of the dough to flatten it. These stamps consist of wooden handles with metal pins in an attractive geometric or floral pattern. Each baker has his own unique signature stamp design that makes their loaves easy to identify.
Traditional Uzbek Bread Oven
One of the most traditional ways to bake non of any type is in the old-time brick ovens or tandoor ovens used in Uzbekistan itself. These are built into walls and feature an arched interior roof and a place below for a hot fire. Instead of using racks and bread pans, Uzbek bread dough is shaped then stuck to the inside surface of the whole oven – even on the ceiling.
Even with the best Uzbek bread or Lepeshka recipe, you cannot recreate that style of baking at home. Regular baking can still give you a taste of this delicious tradition. Then, take a journey to Uzbekistan and experience the real thing. You will be amazed.