Hunza bread is a vital breakfast item in Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan. we make this bread with wheat flour and sometimes add one portion of cornmeal for extra flavor and texture. The Hunza bread like all other breakfast bread is baked in an earthenware pot buried in hot ashes. We usually bake breakfast bread at night and serve it in the morning with salty tea.
We can also make a sweet version of this bread by replacing sugar with salt, but we love the savory version of this bread and always make it savory.
Nowadays unlike traditional baking, we bake this on the stovetop in any heavy-based pan. The crust of the Hunza bread is a bit hard we pronounce it as “what” and the inner soft part we pronounce it as “S” in the local Hunza language. The crispy crust is very delicious, and we usually apply butter to it and eat it with tea.
People in Hunza, have a joint family system and therefore for large family members, we bake more than one of these breads each day. We have this bread with salty tea 3 times a day. The tea timing is fixed. Morning tea is always at 7 am followed by another tea at 10 am and then the afternoon tea is always at 4 pm.
Ingredients for Authentic Hunza Bread Recipe:
Wheat flour 4 cups
Cooking oil/butter 60ml
Instant yeast 1tsp
Note: Traditionally we use sourdough not instant yeast
Hunza Bread Recipe:
First, add the dry ingredients into a bowl and then add 60ml oil/butter, mix well.
Knead to a soft dough with lukewarm milk.
Let the dough rest for few hours. The rising time depends on the temperature, when the temperature is warm it takes 2 hours to fully rise.
when the dough rises, punch the dough for a minute and mold it to a ball, and using a rolling pin to flatten the dough so that it could fit in the baking pan.
Grease the baking pan and heat to the smoking point, then turning the flame off.
Transfer the dough into the hot pan.
Bake the bread on the lowest heat possible and placing a paper or a cotton cloth between the lid and the pan and close the lid. The purpose of placing the paper or cloth is to avoid dripping the moisture, as the paper absorbs the moisture.
One side of bread takes 30 minutes to bake on low heat and it takes another 30 minutes to bake the other side of the bread. To bake the second side just place the paper on the top, do not cover the lid. It may take 10 minutes more than it took for me.
Serving Hunza Bread:
There are different ways of eating Hunza bread.
Break the bread into small pieces and put it into a cup or bowl, for more flavor add a tablespoon of fresh butter and pour Hunza namkeen chai on it.
Cut into slices and apply butter and snack on it.
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