Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Aug 2 05:57:34 PDT 2010
On Aug 1, 2010, at 7:26 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:
> From the recipe:
> <<< When ready to bake, take the filled pastries from the tray one by one,
> wipe their backs with water, enough to make them sticky, and stick them
> all to the inner wall of the tannur, taking care not to let them fall
> down. >>>
> Are all foods cooked in the tannur cooked this way, stuck to the walls? This would really seem to restrict what you can cook in a tannur. Or is meat, in particular, cooked differently? I seem to remember having some tannur cooked chicken.
The rationale is that dough-based products stuck to the walls of the tannur will stick to the rather porous limed inner surface (it's basically tile grout, sort of chalky), but not too tenaciously because the dough will shrink at the edges as it cooks and begin to peel itself off the surface of the tannur, especially since the wet dough has an instant jet of steam built up between the hot wall and itself. Often what happens it that the trick to removing the cooked bread or pastry is to know exactly when to go in after it with a long hook: it has puffed up enough to be fully cooked, and also to push itself off the wall; the experienced baker knows when it's expanded as much as it'll go without launching itself off the wall and onto the coals.
As I understand it, meat is usually put on long skewers, placed vertically in the tannur, and leaned against the upper lip of the oven mouth.
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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