My favorite type of bread, which I grew up eating almost every day, is called Tandir or Tandoor. The name comes from a word tandir, a clay oven where this flat bread is traditionally baked.
You most likely don’t have a tandir oven at home, so this recipe is the next closest thing to tandir you can make in a conventional oven. So let’s get started.
In this recipe, I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of bread flour, just because I love the flavor whole grains impart to baked goods.
2 ¼ tsp or 1 packet instant yeast
1 ½ warm water, 105-115 F
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
extra flour for kneading
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 egg or egg yolk, whisked
1 tsp black or white sesame seeds, or poppy seeds (you can combine them as well)
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water, and place it in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Sift the flours and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and yogurt. Knead until the dough comes together for 6-8 minutes. If the dough is very sticky, add a little more flour and knead until it becomes more pliable. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours until it doubles in size.
Punch the dough down to release the air. Place it on a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a ball, then flatten it. Roll it out or stretch it out with your hands into a 1/2 inch thick oval or round shape. The dough is going to be soft, stretchy, and slightly sticky.
Carefully transfer the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or greased non-stick surface. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 15-30 minutes.
With a sharp knife, make shallow vertical and diagonal slashes into the dough (you can always improvise with the design). Brush it with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seeds.
Place into the 400 F preheated oven, and bake until golden brown for 20-25 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
Transfer the bread onto the cooling rack for 2 minutes before removing from the baking sheet. If you are using parchment paper, transfer the bread along with it onto the rack.
Tandir tastes the best when served warm.