Obi Non, a flatbread from Uzbekistan was the first and only choice I had decided for the alphabet 'O'. Obi Non is made with just a few ingredients and has no fat in it. The bread is traditionally baked in Tandoor and as an alternate can be baked in the oven. It was exciting to see a bread with no added oil or butter or milk. The bread is also called the water bread as it just has the yeast, flour and water in it.
Obi Non was very similar to the shape of a bagel. It is some what similar to the Naan, but is more thicker. It has a very obvious pattern in the middle made with a stamp called the Chekich. I used fork to make some pattern, but ti was not as obvious as the traditional one. The bread is baked in the tandoor and some water is sprinkled to the underside of the bread to help it stick to the tandoor. This water also creates a steamy environment in the tandoor, that helps in the breads texture. Obi Non has a very crusty outer layer and the inside is soft and has a distinct crumb.
The bread tastes great when eaten right of the oven. It does get a little chewy if stored for a long time, but a good bowl of soup or stew will help with that. The bread is a staple in every meal in Uzbek cuisine and is eaten as is or with stew.
I also used a cup of whole wheat flour in the recipe and it worked great. I have used 50 % whole wheat substitutions in many breads and they have almost always produced great results. This bread was no exception and I actually loved the earthy whole wheat flavor in it. I made the bread without any fat as I wanted to get as close as the traditional one. A little oil will do harm of you prefer as it would make the kneading much easier. I did use some oil to grease the bowl, that I proofed the dough in.
My other bakes in the A – Z Baking around the World Marathon –
A for Almond cookies from China
B for Bretzel Rolls from Germany
D for Danish Cookies from Denmark
E for Empanada from Argentina
F for Franzbrötchen from Germany
G for Grissini from Italy
H for Hot Cross Buns from England
I for Irish Freckle Bread from Ireland
J for Jan Hagel Cookies from Netherlands
K for Kiffles / Kiflis from Hungary
L for Lagana Bread from Greece
M for Monkey Bread from USA
N for Nazook / Nazouk from Armenia
Preparation time - 15 minutes plus 2 hours of resting time
Baking time - 15 to 20 minutes
Difficulty level - Intermediate
Recipe adapted from - Silk Road Chef
Ingredients to make Obi Non - makes 4
- Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
- All purpose flour - 1 ½ cups
- Active dry yeast - 1 ¼ tsp
- Lukewarm water - 1 cup
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Sugar - ½ tsp
- Oil- to grease the bowl
- Sesame seeds or Nigella seeds - to sprinkle on the bread
Procedure to make Obi Non -
To make the dough -
- In a measuring cup, measure the lukewarm water and add the active dry yeast and the sugar to it. Mix well and cover with a cloth and let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes. You will see the yeast mixture all bubbling and frothy by 10 minutes. If not, the yeast is not active any more. Discard the mixture and start with a new batch of yeast.
- I made my dough in the stand mixer. Add both the flour and salt to the mixer bowl and whisk to combine.
- Once the yeast mixture is ready, pour it into the flour and start mixing. Once the dough comes together, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is soft. The dough should not be sticky. If it is sticking to your hands after kneading, add a little more flour and keep kneading.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then a towel. Let it rest for about an hour and half until it doubles in volume.
Shaping the dough -
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Prepare a pizza stone or a baking sheet.
- Once the dough has doubled in volume, punch it don gently and divide it into 4 equal parts.
- Working with one piece at a time, form a taut ball. Flatten the ball with your palm and then using your thumb, make a wide deep indentation in the center of the dough. Make sure that the sides are thick and the center is thin and also be careful that you don't poke a hole through the dough.
- Place the shaped dough on the pizza stone or parchment line baking tray. I used double tray to insulate the bottom.
- Repeat the same with the rest of the dough pieces and cover them with kitchen cloth and leave it to rest for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Using a fork, make patterns in the center indentation. Traditionally, the pattern is the center is made using a stamp called chekich. Since I don't have the stamp, I used fork to make a pattern in the center. Make sure to do this right before you bake the Non.
- Apply some water or oil on the surface of the obi non and sprinkle the sesame seeds or the nigella seeds. You could leave them as it without any seeds as well. If you are not vegan, you could use egg wash or milk to brush the top of the bread. I noticed that the seeds don't stick well when using water or oil.
Baking the Obi Non -
- Bake with a tray of hot water in the oven, to create steam. To do so, place some boiling water in a tray (about 1 inch) and place it in the bottom rack of the oven. Place the bread tray on the center rack and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not be tempted to open the oven too often, but make sure to keep an eye on it from about 12 minutes. If you open the oven too often, the steam will escape and will not have the effect that it is supposed to have.
- Once the bread sounds hollow and is golden brown, remove it from the oven and cool it a bit before serving. This bread is very hearty and can be served with stew, soup or any subzi.
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