Makes 8 Nans
These small oval breads are baked in a tandoor, the stove of the region -- sometimes buried in the ground as it is in India. The Afghan oven is above ground & is of rounded bricks, which are heated. Nan are shaped & slapped & stuck on the hot bricks for fast baking.
1. Mix 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast, & sugar together & let it proof for 10 mins. When froth appears, sprinkle 1/2 ts flour on top & let it continue to proof for 5 mins more. The froth will rise quickly.
2. Put flour in a large mixing bowl & sprinkle salt over it. Make a well in middle of flour & add oil & yeast mixture. Stir this in & add small amounts of water until you have produced a soft, moist dough that can be handled. Knead well for 5 mins. Put dough ball back in bowl, cover w/towel, & let rise for 1-1/2 hours. Punch down dough.
3. Divide dough into 8 equal parts & roll each part into a ball. Roll each ball into a oval shape 6 to 7 inches long & 1/2 inch thick.
Draw tines of a fork in 3 lines along length of each noni for a decorative design. Paint each noni w/egg mixture & sprinkle over all 1/2 ts black cuminseeds. (This is traditional seed to use, but caraway seeds may be substituted if black cuminseed is unobtainable. Put noni on an ungreased cookie sheet & bake in a preheated 350 F.oven for 20 to 25 mins. The brown top will glisten. Makes 8 noni.
NOTE: Black Cumin (Bunium persicum B. Fedtsch): Smaller & sweeter than standard cuminseed; plants grow wild in Middle East. The seeds are used in Afghanistan, Iran, & Turkey. Black cuminseeds are sprinkled on Afghan bread.