26 April 2012

Giant Bread Stamp

Most of the time when I'm wandering through a bazaar, I see lots of brightly colored plastic things from China.  (This is not all bad; I picked up a little carrot grater that's perfect for carrot salad and it was less than 50 cents.)  But when you see a place that is not overwhelming plastic or colorful, it's time to stop.  I picked up this walnut rolling pin and the giant chekich a couple of weeks ago from a non-colorful place.  He had lots of other cool stuff too.  For a little scale, the rolling pin is about as long as one you'd see in the US.

A chekich is for stamping flatbreads so they don't puff up in the middle.  Usually you see smaller ones like these and I have quite a few of them.  A big one like this is for stamping the entire center of a loaf of bread.  Central Asian naan is really good because there's the stamped center, but also a rim around the edges that rises.  You get two totally different textures in one loaf of bread, and since it's cooked in a tandir, that makes it even better.


  1. How fascinating. I had never seen a bread stamp. Is Central Asian Naan like Indian Naan? Do you have a recipe you could share (that would work in a regular oven)?

  2. Sarah, it' really different from Indian naan. Indian naan is fine (although it's becoming too much like pita, at least in the US), but if you haven't had Afghan or Uzbek or Uyghur naan, you're missing a lot.

    I make naan on a baking stone, although it's not absolutely necessary. Here's a basic Central Asian version:

    And here's an Afghan version that I love (except I put in a lot less yeast now):