GEORGIAN BREAD – SHOTIS PURI
In Georgia, bread is respected: it is eaten every day and takes pride of place on the festive table. Bread is baked the old-fashioned way, in a tonal oven that resembles a stone well, lined with clay bricks inside. The structure is buried in the ground and a fire is lit at the bottom. Aromatic bread with a crispy crust is baked on the smoke-soaked walls of the tone. And to make the bread stick better to the walls, the bakers “feed” the oven with salt – they sprinkle it with salt water.
The literal translation of the name is “shotis” – sabre, “puri” – bread. It turned out to be – bread in the shape of sabre. The shape of Georgian shoti with pointed ends is a tribute to tradition, and the hole in the middle of the bread is a necessary technological attribute. Without it, the hot air expands inside the cake, causing the bread to rise and turn into a large bubble.
Earlier, shotis puri was baked longer to make it more convenient to take with you on the go. It is these long shotis puri that can be seen in Niko’s Pirosmani paintings.
The ingredients for bread are quite simple: flour, water, salt and yeast. Mtskhobeli – the baker kneads the dough, shapes and forms the bread. Almost every street in the village or town has a ton where you can buy and eat fresh bread right away. By the way, in Georgia it is customary to break bread with your hands. Shotis puri has great properties: it remains soft for a long time and is easy to bake. It has only one drawback… it eats “by itself” 🙂