Traditional method of Armenian lavash baking
During hundreds of years Armenian lavash baking technology has undergone almost no changes and is still widely used in rural areas of Armenia.
Lavash is baked in an ancient oven of special construction - tonir. Baking chamber of such oven has a cylinder-conical shape, its average diameter is 1-1,5 m, height - 1-1,7 m. The oven is buried in the ground to the depth of 0,8-1,2 m. A special channel is supplied to the bottom of the oven; while the firewood is burning air is fed into the oven through that channel. Once the firewood has burnt, this channel is closed. Charcoal remaining on the bottom of tonir is the source of heat for bread baking.
Dough for lavash baking is made of wheat flour. Flour is sifted through fine sieve, then kneaded with water and salt, after which sour leaven is added. Dough fermentation usually takes about 1,5-2 hours at temperature 30-32°. Ready dough is cut into 0,5 kg pieces, which are given a round shape and left for proof for about 15-30 minutes. After the proof dough is rolled with the help of a wooden rolling pin. A rolled out piece of dough is passed to the baker. The baker finishes lavash forming by several throws from one hand to another, as a result lavash becomes thinner and gets an elongated pancake shape, which is then stretched on the oval cushion with a length of 70-80 cm and width of 35-40 cm. Formed in this way, a dough piece is put onto a surface of a tonir’s wall. Lavash baking usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Top edge of the ready lavash is detached from the oven's wall with the help of a special iron flat rod and manually taken off the wall.
For longer storage lavash is dried and then stacked in piles on each other and covered with a cloth. Such lavash can be kept in a dry room up to 1 year. For the use it is humidified with a clean water and left for a while, as a result, it becomes soft again and ready-to-eat.
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