Occasionally, I have major cravings for tandir bread, or tandoori bread as it is better known in the US. Nothing comes close to the taste of a freshly baked crusty bread coming out of a piping hot clay oven. In Azerbaijan, bread is eaten almost with any food—it is always there on the table. I love hot tandir bread with white milk cheese, such as feta. Try it with fresh herbs on the side to nibble on with bread and cheese. Yum!
Back home, bread is not only a food item, but it is a staple with much reverence attached to it. So much so that it is considered sacred. It is a symbol of abundance and prosperity. It is important to us. We don’t throw it in a trash can. If you see a piece of bread on the street, you would pick it up and put it aside—somewhere where nobody could step on it. Some people would even kiss it then touch it with their forehead. It’s the sign of respect to bread that feeds us.
Back to tandir bread now. Although there are other bread varieties sold in Azerbaijani bakeries, tandir bread is usually preferred over others on special occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties and holiday celebrations. Typically, warm slices of tandir bread are placed next to individual serving plates. Although nothing can replace the flavor of a real tandir bread baked in the clay oven, here in the United States, I try to replicate the flavor and texture by baking my bread right in the kitchen oven. It turns out great! Bake it and see for yourself. You will love this bread.
Tandoori Bread (Tandir Bread)
Preparation time, including dough rising: 2 hours
Baking time: 20 minutes
Makes 1 medium loaf
1 package (1/4 oz / 7 g) dry yeast
1 ½ cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg yolk or 1 tablespoon plain yogurt mixed with just a little water, for brushing
Pinch of Nigella sativa seeds (best choice), or poppy seeds or sesame seeds (black or white)
In a small bowl, mix yeast with water until the yeast is dissolved.
Sift flour into a large bowl. Add salt and toss to combine. Gradually add the yeast-water mixture and stir with your hand until a rough ball forms.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press any loose dough pieces into the ball and knead the dough, punching it down with your fists, folding it over and turning. Knead for about 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the large bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or a plastic wrap.
Leave the dough to rise in a warm spot for about 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in bulk. The dough should look puffy and be soft when poked with a finger.
Punch down the dough, then transfer it onto a lightly floured surface.
Shape the dough into a ball, and with your hands flatten slightly and stretch it lengthwise. If you have trouble stretching the dough with your hands (although this is the recommended method), you can use a rolling pin to do the job—start rolling out the dough beginning at one end until you obtain a long flat bread about ½ inch thick (1.27cm), 14 inches long (35cm) and 8 inches (20cm) wide.
Carefully transfer the bread onto a non-stick baking sheet, fixing the shape as necessary. Leave the dough to rest and slightly rise on the baking sheet for another 15-20 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Using a knife, make shallow crosshatching slashes on the bread, 4 from right to left and 4 the opposite way, each at a slight angle. Or, using your pinkie, mark 3 shallow indentations along the length of the bread. Brush the bread evenly with the glaze of your choice and sprinkle with seeds.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Your tandoori bread (tandir bread) is ready!
Thanks a million for posting this recipe of tandir bread. I have been waiting for your book to come up, so I could try to make tandir bread by myself :). I still regret that I did not go for the third piece the last time you cooked for us. The recipe does not seem difficult at all even though the outcome is so beautiful. I hope you share the recipe for that delicious lamb & eggplant dish of yours.
I have been a lucky participant in Farida’s recipe trials- my family has loved everything we’ve tried- eggplant rolls, sweet & sour chicken, stuffed grapeleaves…the pictures of the bread on this site are making my mouth water, will have to try next! I highly recommend these recipes! Fariba K.
Thank you, thank you! I am glad you like my recipes. Enjoy the blog!
I can’t wait to try this tandir bread recipe. The photos are very helpful. Keep up the good work!
co-author of “Cooking Outside the Pizza Box: Easy Recipes for Today’s College Student
Wow, I never thought it was so easy! Will definitely try. Farida, thank you for the recipe!! Leyli
Looks delicious. I’ll treat my children with it on weekends.
I am originally from Baku as well and love Azeri food. I spend significant amount of time browsing blogs, so I am really excited to find your blog and to try these wonderful recipes. Your blog is truly one of a kind and I am definitely adding it to my feeds and favorites. 🙂
Good luck and keep up the good work.
how I am glad that you have created this wonderfull webside, I red it and enjoyed so much
Thank you, love you Shozoda
Thank you Asli, Fariba, Jean, Leili, Anon., and Shozoda xanum, for your nice words! Enjoy!
Opps, almost forgot:) Thank you, Osana!
When I came to the US about 9 years ago, the first food I longed for away from home was bread. It is so important in our culture. Tandir Bread is my favorite of all and this recipe excellent. I am lucky to try your wonderful food at home. Thank you so much! Murat.
My mouth is watering just looking at the golden bread.
Wow, this bread looks delicious. It doesn’t look very easy to make, but definitely worthed to try. The instructions look very clear. Thank you for sharing it.
KP: Welcome to my blog! The crust is what I love the most. Egg yolks work wonders on top of this bread:)
Max: You are welcome Max! Let me know how it turns out.
This tandoori bread looks so good, I’ve just voted for it on tastespotting.
I know I’m going to try this! Looks great! I can never have enough bread recipes. Great blog!
Vi: Welcome back! This bread is easy to make. I like it right out of the oven with white cheese and fresh herbs on the side. Yum!
Medena: Thank you for stopping by. Glad you like the recipe. You have a cute blog, too:)
Thank you very much. When I go to Baku, first of all I want to have tandoori bread. We have an Indian restaurant here and they have tandoori bread in their menu. I am not a fan of Indian food. But for tandoori bread I started to go there. Last time something was wrong with thier bread and I am so glad you shared this recipe with us.
You we welcome, Jamila. I miss real tandoori bread too. Mine is just an imitation although it can’t replace the real thing, but better than nothing. I like Indian naan, too, if that’s what you mean. Sagh ol!
Dear Farida Hanim,
Finally today, I made your tandoori bread! However, I realized that I had only 2 cups of flour and no eggs, so I used 1 cup of wheat flour and yogurt for brushing. It came out really good, and Gorkem liked it, too :P. Also, your tandoori bread reminds me of special bread called pide, which is only baked during Ramadan month in Turkey and was the best thing I remember from my childhood Ramadans in Istanbul.
Thanks again for this recipe,
How interesting! I’m really glad I discovered your blog! I love the photos, too! 🙂
Asli: Glad my bread brings back the sweet memories of Turkish Ramadan days to you.
Maninas: Welcome to my blog. Thank you for your nice words! Please visit again!
That looks amazing Farida, and thank you for the cultural insight too – very interesting.
salam Farida….i followed to recipe but it didnt come the way its on ur pic?? dont know why?? :(((…i baled for 25 minutes still bread was almost white..when I took it out it was inside cooked but outside (bottom too) very crunchy :(( what was wrong?? My husband buying tandoori bread from indian restaurant i allso love it with feta cheese for breakfast but i homemade is always homemade ..where was my mistake??:(((
Dear Mahsati, so sorry your bread didn’t turn out the way you wanted. I am thinking what might have caused the problem. Here’s what comes to my mind.
1. Did the dough rise nicely? It really has to rise before it goes in the oven.
2. I mentioned in the recipe that the bread needs to bake for about 25 minutes or until it is golden on top. So, maybe 25 minutes was not enough for your bread and you took it out too early. Each oven is different so times vary.
3. Also make sure the bread is on the middle rack of the oven. If nothing else works and you still have a crust on the bottom and nothing on top, bake the bread on top rack for about 5 minutes or until it is golden on top. It should work.
3. This bread is soft inside but slightly crunchy outside. It is more on a flat side than pluffy.
I don’t know if these answers help or not. Hope they do. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Anything I missed to address? So sorry again. Hope it comes out nicely the next time you bake it!
thank you Farida, Im gonna try again inshAllah, lets see..will let younknow results…Im ur fan, so will be checking out your updates!!!!
Making it again!!!! Right now! 🙂 Love, love, love this bread!
Hi Farida, thank you too much for this recipe. To long I look for this recipe. Your blog is very good!!!
this looks cok guzel abla! I will try this one day!
this looks exactly like my Pide Bread or Ramadan Bread,
i dont use a knife to design it, instead I dip my fingers with olive oil and press on the dough and they will leave their markers then i sprinkle black sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds..
and sometimes i do add fennel ….
it ‘s delicious.
seems we have lots of recipes in common,
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I made it with flour that’s a blend of whole wheat & white. It was delicious.
I am very thanktfull to your site and recipes. I left Baku 11 years ago and i have never found anything like this before. Since i left my country, i was missing all our food and now you guys brought so much happiness to me again!!!
Thank you so much!!!!
i found your website by just looking for our bread recipe. in the past i used some recipes that were shown on Baku Pages but the result was a disasted . absoultely dry and tasteless. but then i saw your website and tried yours – and it turned so good i think i can jump of joy. thank you very much for this wonderful recipe which is soooo close to tendir chorek made in a clay oven in Baku
Bine te-am gasit!ai un blog tare frumos si interesant!Felicitarii!
your recipes are great
Te rog instaleaza-ti TRADUCERII!SI IN ROMANA!
hmmmmmmm i like it
I spent a few months in Baku this past year and I LOVED the bread…i miss it. so excited to try this recipe
Dear Farida, I tried this recipe of yours both yesterday and today. I must say bread turns out very yummy and reminds me very much of a real tandoori bread. However, there are a couple of things I have slightly changed: I added 4 cups of flour instead of recommended 3, because my dough seemed a bit too wet with that amount; additionally, after the bread was ready I rubbed it with some water, it seemed to soften it ( i read about this hint from Gulli’s website).
Thanks very much for your recipes!
i really fall in love when i saw the pic of bread
i went straight to market bought every thing i need and made it right away i must say my hubby kids allllll love it thank you soooooo much soon willl try you baklava …i hope that also turn out good (finger cross)
Your recipe blog is a terrific find! And the photos mouthwatering!Soon, a dear friend of mine will be moving to Baku. We’re both “foodies” and to now find authentic Azeri recipes is great, as we can cook here at home before she moves and learn about the tastes and flavors of your homeland.
My first recipe has been this Tandir bread. I too needed 4C of flour and baked for 30minutes. Delicious! Keep up the good work!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS, FRIENDS!
YangMommy: Hope your friend enjoys her stay in Azerbaijan. I have a feeling she will:)
I am looking at all these wonderful art of cuisine and am asking myself..why did I leave Azerbaijan…came all over the way here to the end of the world…ah..Azeri food is the best of the best!!!
I will learn something here and maybe can teach my wife too.
Thank you for your wonderful site!!!
hi there, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your website! I came across your Tandir bread recipe about 3 weeks or so ago I think, and the bread is so incredibly good that I think I’ve made this bread about 5 times now!
It’s easy, delicious, and best of all, it’s a flexible recipe. One day I didn’t have eggs to do the egg wash, so I brushed it with a pesto sauce and wow it turned out great!
I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes, and I want to know if it’s okay if I blog about your bread recipe on my website. Of course I will give you credit for the recipe and link to your website. 🙂
Thanks so much, and I’ll be back here again and again. 🙂 Have a great day! sheila
Farida khanim, you made me, including my family drool over this picture. We stared at it for nearly 10 seconds without saying anything lol 🙂
thank you very much for putting this recipe!
I used sesame instead of poppy seeds and it looked and tasted great 🙂 ! Even my baby liked it :))
Thank you !
Very simple ingredients and bread turned out delicious. I used half white and half whole wheat flour. It is so good pretty much with anything. Thanks for great site and inspiration.
This is the best bread recipe I’ve ever tried! It comes out lovely each and every time. I split the dough in half and make two loaves out of it. My Iranian husband and I have this every Sunday morning as a big Turkish-style breakfast including feta cheese, greek olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, sour cherry jam, yogurt, and hot tea. YUM!
Thank you very much for such wonderful blog. I always follow you. I am not good in cooking but with this site I am trying to do and I really rely on your experience since everything i tried was good. However i have tried to make this bread at home and my dough didnt become puffy despite that I put it in warm place for more than 2 hours and I used of course yeast 7 gr as you said. I put more than 3 cups of flour since the dough was very sticky. I just want to ask why it is not puffy and in the oven after it did not become puffy also 🙂
I am also azeri but living in Switzerland and to cook our food is very important for me since our cuisine is one of the best. 🙂
Thank you very much dear,
With kind regards,
TARANA: Thank you for your nice words. The dough did not rise. The reason could be the quality of the yeast. Also, the water should not be cold. And the temperature of the place you let the dough rise in should be warm enough. Nothing else comes to my mind. If the bread didn’t rise, it wont’ rise in the oven either. Hope it turns out nicely next time you bake it. Any questions, write me.
Thank you very much for reply and help. I have added more yeast and it really rised very good 🙂 This attempt was successful 🙂
Farida could you please write the recipe of “Gogal” in your blog. May be it exists but I can not find. I would be so grateful 🙂
I am writing in English because may be many of the visitors of this blog are from another countries so these messages and comments could be useful for them too.
Cox teshekkur edirem. 🙂
TAHIRA: Gogal will be in my cookbook. Stay tuned:)
I love bread…and this recipe is so easy!
Ellerine saglik Feridem.Bakidaki ailen seninle fexr edir. Biz Azeriler coreki cok severik.odur ki,corekimiz bol olsun.Corek bol olarsa,basilmaz veten.
ne fark eder ki,feridem.biz hamimiz bir aileyik.seni kim ailesine qebul etmez ki?shirinsen ship-shirin.ellerin her zaman ruzili olsun canim bacim.ugurlar.
I make this bread once a week! Your recipe is so, so good and also so very easy. I previously lived in Baku, but it has been 8 years since I was there, and having your recipes on here makes my heart happy! I regularly try your recipes and they are all so delicious. Thank you!
Oh my god! Whenever I visit your blod, I take a look at your bread, and day-dream I will bake one just like yours one day… 🙂
Thanks a lot Ferida. I miss this bread, Im living in Saudi Arabia and for long time didnt try OUR Tendir Coreyi 🙂 Love you!
As I posted above, I love this bread. I recently got a bread machine and tried making the dough in the machine to save work. If I used the ingredients as listed, the dough always comes out too soft and sticky. I was wondering if the recipe has to be altered for use in a bread machine? Maybe it needs more flour to keep the consistency firm? The bread itself still turns out well in the oven, but I have to add more flour to make it a consistency that can be rolled which doesn’t seem right. It still rises and bakes the same, which is good. Can you please advise? Thank you!
NOORAH101 – Thank you for trying the recipe. I don’t have a bread machine and never used it so not sure how it functions with different types of dough. I would assume you should add more flour to the dough so it is not sticky. Try it and see what happens. The dough should not be sticky.
I have 3 questions if you don’t mind, please.
1. Can I make this bread with whole wheat flour, at least half? How would you recommend I adjust the recipe?
2. My mom (born and raised in Baku, lived there for 45 years before moving to NY) says she remembers ‘daglinski corek’, is it the same thing as this tandoori bread? I would love to make it for her when she comes.
3. I would like to make a few of these breads, for my son to take to college with him. Do they freeze well? Do I freeze the dough of the bread ( after baking?
Thank you so very much for your advice (always so helpful) and all the recipes. Good luck with the book, can’t wait to get it!
Hi Aliluy, sorry for my belated reply. Here are my answers:
1. Yes, you can use half whole wheat, half white flour. The rest remains the same.
2. Yes, the content of daghli choreyi is the same.
3. Yes, you can freeze the bread. Not the dough. Just the baked bread. You can also par-pake it and freeze.
Thank you so much for your reply. I will definitely try this recipe within about a week or so. Counting days to your book’s arrival in my mailbox. Best regards.
Tendir cöreyi (sorry I don’t have the right letters) is one of the things I really miss from Azerbaijan. I stayed half a year in Ganja and every morning we had fresh bread from the baker in our street. Lovely!
Thank you for your sweet comment, Anna-Marie. Hope you can make this no-tendir tendir choreyi at home to reminisce your wonderful time in Azerbaijan.