Photo: Olga Dmitrieva/Shutterstock

Kazakhstan's Tohax Bread Is a Treat for the Eyes and the Stomach

Kazakhstan Food + Drink
by Matador Creators Jan 11, 2023

Bread is a staple in just about every country around the world. France has its baguette, Iceland has its Laufabrauð, Germany has its Pumpernickel loaf, and Kazakhstan’s got its tohax. This Kazakh bread both looks pretty and tastes delicious.

@foodwtf #Tohax is a traditional bread from #Kazakhstan , it's cooked inside a clay oven called a tandoor 🤩 🎥 IG: @biscuit.qaz #foodie #foodtiktok #foodtravel #Kazakhstanfood #flatbread ♬ Lofi – Domknowz

Tohax are round and flat breads, but unlike South Asian naans or Middle-Eastern pitas, two of the most famous flat breads in the world, they are thick and sturdy instead of soft and pliable.

The recipe for making tohax dough is very simple: flour, water, milk, yeast, salt, sugar, and butter. Before going in the oven, the raw bread also gets a wash of milk and egg to make its exterior appearance golden and shiny.

Each tohax is decorated, either with a stamp (known as chekich) pressed in its dipped centre, or a light pattern is scored using a kitchen utensil like a fork or a knife, making for a beautiful result. No two bakers make the same tohax so, decorations, including patterned edges, and recipes, can vary according to regions or preferences.

Tohax are baked in a traditional clay oven known in Central Asia as a tandyr oven. The baker applies the raw and tacky Kazakh breads onto a rounded handheld utensil and extends their arm in the extremely hot oven to stick them straight onto the clay where they will bake for about 20 minutes. When ready to come out of the oven, the tohax are collected individually by a deep and circular bread peel or a metal rod with a hooked end.

While tohax is the Kazakh name for this bread, it is found throughout Central Asia, including in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan under the name of tandyr nan, or lepyoshka.

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