Taboon Bread is a type of flat bread that is baked in an oven made from a mix of yellow clay and hay. This oven can be found in one of two types, with the first being more similar to a hole in the ground that is lined with basalt stones and has a lid to cover the opening while cooking or baking and the the other a conical or dome shaped oven, with a flat surface that is lined with limestones and elevated from the ground with a space under it to ignite and stoke the fire. The dough bakes upon the stones, giving Taboon bread its bubbly and beautiful shape.
Olive leftovers after extracting the oil mixed with animal manure are used as fuel in addition to tree branches, coal, or wood to provide the fire. Traditionally, the oven is ignited twice a day, once at dawn and another at sunset.
The Taboon oven holds a lot of heat which makes it perfect for baking bread and cooking meat, chicken and vegetable stews. The bread bakes pretty quickly in the oven while stews and other dishes are cooked at a slower rate depending upon where the pans are placed – to the front, the back, or the sides of the oven. Stews come out very nice and delicious. One of the most known Palestinian dishes to use the Taboon oven for cooking is Musakhan.
I got the idea from Amira’s blog on how to create my own taboon oven at home by using riverbed stones in a flat pan and placing it on the lower part of my oven. I let the stones heat up on the highest setting on my oven and prepared the bread and baked it. I loved the idea and it was easy to make at home. The bread was as close as can be to taboon bread. I was happy and thankful for finding the recipe on Arabianmama blog.
Makes 8-10 loaves
- White Flour
- 3 1/3 cups
- Wheat Flour
- 1 2/3 cups
- 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon
- about 4 cups
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon
- 1-2 teaspoons
- Mix the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the warm water together in a bowl and let it sit for about ten minutes, until the yeast is activated and bubbly.
- Add half of the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and slowly add the proofed yeast and water mixture to it, kneading it all together.
- Add the remaining water and flour and continue kneading until it comes together. It should be a little sticky but not runny.
- Cover and let rise in a warm spot for a couple of hours.
- Preheat your oven to about 550°F (about 280°C). Leave a baking pan filled with your river stones on the bottom rack to heat up within it.
- Cut the dough into evenly sized pieces, roughly grapefruit sized, and roll into balls. Let them sit for about 10 minutes.
- Using your fingers, flatten the dough as best as you can, trying for about 12 inches across, or as big as you can get it while maintaining a thickness around 3/16” to 1/4”.
- Bake for about 4-5 minutes on each side until it’s puffed up and has some color on it. The bread freezes well and can be reheated in the oven.