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Making Samoon

posted Nov 7, 2010, 12:14 PM by Dustin Romero   [ updated May 14, 2011, 9:09 AM by Dustin Romero ]
Below you can see a slideshow of the pictures we took. Compare this process to what we do with our tandoor oven!

We made a visit to the Iraqi chow hall today to get some fresh samoon bread. We frequent this place almost everyday since we are in the Iraqi compound so often. These are the cooks who work in the bakery. They want a soccer ball, and for us to put a team together so they can spank us.

The bread they make is called samoon. It is an Iraqi leavened flat bread made with yeast, flour, sugar and salt. Some bakers add other ingredients to improve taste and quality. The bread is cooked in a brick oven on a piping hot stone surface.

This bread is similar to the naan bread that we make on the cart. It is cooked at high temperatures which gives it a crisp crust, yet tender mailable crumb (inside part of bread). It is also cooked thin like naan is. The difference being that naan is stuck to the side of a tandoor, and although the brick oven maintains a very hot temperature of about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, a tandoor oven maintains a blistering temperature of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The bread is absolutely delicious. We eat it piping hot and enjoy it with our meals, or spread with a topping make from mixing a thick, almost butter like cream with date syrup.
The process is as follows. 
  1. Ingredients are mixed in a large mixer that blends the dough and gives it it's initial knead. 
  2. The dough is then transfered to a counter where it is rolled and cut into individual pieces.
  3. The dough is that shaped and stretched into oblong pieces and places on a raising tray.
  4. The trays are then stacked to allow the dough to rise.
  5. Trays are moved to another person how flattens raised dough and hands the tray to the baker
  6. The baker then places flattened dough onto the peel (the giant wood spatula thing)
  7. The baker loads the bread into the brick oven and cooks for about 5 minutes
  8. The bread is that removed quickly and thrown backwards allowing it to cascade into the waiting bin
  9. Some bread is then stolen by greedy marauding Americans
  10. Most bread is then served on the chow line to hungry Iraqi soldiers.

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