The Tannour, Best Oven for Any Bread ever

A tannour is a three foot by two foot oven made from a special kind of clay that retains heat.  Usually, four to five families will share a tanoor, so it is placed in a location convenient for all the families involved.  It is usually placed on the ground next to a wall.  The space between the tanoor and the wall is filled with rocks that are packed smoothly with a special clay. 

On baking day, the housewife generally mixes enough dough for at least fifty loaves of bread.  While the dough is proofing, she lights the firewood in the tannour.  The tannour is ready for baking when the flame dies down and the wood coals are glowing.  Baking in the tannour is usually a collaborative effort with the housewife and her friends.  One of the woman rolls out the piece of dough, then passes it to another woman who tosses it on her hands until it reaches the desirable thickness and size, and she in turn passes it a a third woman, who places the loaf on a round cotton pillow.  Now comes the delicate part of operation.  Using the pillow on which the flattened dough is placed, this last woman literally stick the dough onto the hot clay inside the tannour.  It takes no more than a couple of minutes to have finished loaf, which is removed with great speed by the woman tending to the tanoor itself. 

Sometimes, my grandmother would prepare couple stuffing.  She would make sauteed Swiss chard and onion, zaatar and oil or pepper with tomato.   She would stuff the fresh dough with the Swiss chard stuffing and flatten the dough and then stick it inside the tanoor.  Or, she would brush the fresh baked bread with the zaatar mix or pepper mix.  We used to play around the tannour until the bread is out and  Sitoo, grandmother, brush it with the zaatar.  All what you could hear after that is silence.

http://youtu.be/GpqPcrpcNTk

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