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Ltryptophan's avatar

What types of ancient breads were made on open fires?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9109 points ) December 21st, 2012

Can bread be made in an unenclosed space? Were any of the ancient types of bread made over open fires?

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14 Answers

glacial's avatar

@_Whitetigress Bannock is basically the same idea… but I wouldn’t call that an unenclosed space. The space is kind of as enclosed as you can make it.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Bannock or Bannoch bread I wouldn’t call it ancient as I use a similar recipe every time I camp cook. I usually wrap it around a green tree limb to cook it.

Fry bread is a realatively new invention. It was developed by Native Americans to cook the flour they were given as part of their allotment on reservations before they had ovens or stoves to cook on.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I’m also thinking of Flax in Africa

zensky's avatar

I think the Bedouin peoples here in the ME and probably many tribes in Africa still make it the same way. Flour and water and a pizza crust thin type of bread baked on a round metal (up until then stone, I imagine) thing on a fire. In other words, Pita. Look at the Ethiopian cuisine. And many others. Here’s an image.

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Buttonstc's avatar

There are so many many types of breads not requiring an oven or enclosed space that began in ancient times and remain a staple of the diet nowadays.

Any type of oven requires so much fuel to bring it up to and maintain proper temp for loaf type bread, that for many peoples who lived basically a subsistence lifestyle just didn’t have the resources for that.

It’s so much more energy efficient to simply heat up a relatively small flat surface and cook the bread on that.

And even tho things may have changed in modern times, many are so delicious that they remain an integral part of the diet.

Injera is a staple of the cuisine in Ethiopia and surrounding areas. It differs from a lot of other flatbeeads in that it is a leavened bread.

And in India there’s a huge variety of various types of Chapatis, Dosas, Rotis and others.

I think it would be difficult to find a culture where there is not any form of flatbread both ancient and modern.

Even today, we tend to think of Matzos as crackers but they were one of the earliest forms of unleavened flatbread and similar in essence to pita.

And due South of us here in USA, there’s Tortillas down in Mexico.

Those are just some off the top of my head but there are countless varieties more both ancient and still in use today.

I think my favorite is Injera. If you’ve never tried it and there’s a restaurant in your area serving Ethiopian cuisine, don’t pass up the opportunity. It’s absolutely delicious and has a unique texture ideally suited for sopping up the many various stews they serve.

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t forget bagels. I don’t know how ancient they are, but they’re boiled first and then browned. I imagine it could be done other ways besides in an oven, perhaps similarly to the way you make toast over a fire. I’d be interested to know.

zensky's avatar

@Jeruba and don’t forget cream cheese and lox. But seriously, know why Montreal bagels are the most delicious in the world? They are boiled first in honey water.

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bolwerk's avatar

Honey water? That’s an abomination unto the Lord.

glacial's avatar

A delicious abomination.

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