Tannour, The Best Bread Oven Ever!

One of my best childhood memories, is when we visit my grand parents in the village.  We get up in the  early morning hours so we can watch my grandmother mixing the dough and bake the  bread in thetannour.  She would snatch the bread out the wall of the tannour, paste it with Zaatar oil mixture, fold it and give to us for breakfast. It was and still is  the best breakfast ever.

A tannour is a three foot by two foot oven made from a special kind of clay that retains heat.  Usually, four to five families will share a tannour, so it is placed in a location convenient for all the families involved. It is usually placed on the ground next to a wall.  The space between the tannour and the wall is filled with rocks that are packed smoothly with a special clay.

On baking day, the housewife generally mixes enough dough for at least fifty loaves of bread. While the dough is proofing, she lights the firewood in the tannour.  Thetannour is ready for baking when the flame dies down and the wood coals are glowing.  Baking in thetannouris usually a collaborative effort with the housewife and her friends.  One woman rolls out piece of dough, then passes it to another woman who tosses it on her hands until it reaches the desirable thickness and size, and she in turn passes it to a third woman, who places the loaf on a round cotton pillow.  Now comes the delicate part of the operation.  Using the pillow on which the flattened dough is placed, this last woman literally tosses the dough onto the hot clay wall inside the tannour, and, amazingly, the dough sticks to the wall.  It takes no more than a couple of minutes to have a finished loaf, which is removed with great speed by the woman tending to thetannour itself.

Zaatar Mixture

makes 2 cups

1       cup Mediterranean thyme

1/2  cup Mediterranean sour sumac

1/4  cup ground toasted chickpeas

3      tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1      tablespoon ground rosemary

salt to taste

-Mix all the ingredients.

-Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and place in a 350 F. oven for 5 minutes.

-Remove from the oven and allow the mixture to cool before using or storing.

-Add olive oil 2 oil to 1 Zaatar to make zaatar bread or to use as dipping oil.


  1. sanaacooks says

    Thanks Leigh. I have another one we did on trip I am just waiting for her to be done with her marching band.

  2. sanaacooks says

    My thoughts goes with the pleasure of life which include food. Thank you for your comment.

  3. says

    You actually make it appear so easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually one thing which I think I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complex and very wide for me. I am having a look ahead for your subsequent submit, I will try to get the cling of it!

  4. says

    Tannour, The Best Bread Oven Ever! I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks! your article about Tannour, The Best Bread Oven Ever!Best Regards Lawrence

  5. sanaacooks says

    You are welcome Lawrence and thank your cousin, for me, for introducing you to my blog.

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