Preparation / Directions:
These small oval breads are baked in a tandoor, the stove of the region -- sometimes buried in the ground as it is in India. The Afghan oven is above ground and is of rounded bricks. A wood fire is made in the bottom of the oven, a cover is placed over the oven opening and the oven is heated. The matzoh and noni doughs are shaped and then slapped onto and stuck to the inside surface of the hot bricks for fast baking.
1. Mix 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast, and sugar together and let it proof for 10 minutes. When froth appears, sprinkle 1/2 tsp. flour on top and let it continue to proof for 5 minutes more. The froth will rise quickly.
2. Put flour in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle salt over it. Make a well in middle of the flour and add oil and the yeast mixture. Stir this in and add small amounts of water until you have produced a soft, moist dough that can be handled. Knead well for 5 minutes. Put dough ball back in bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise for 1-1/2 hours. Punch down dough.
3. Divide dough into 8 equal parts and roll each part into a ball. Roll each ball into a oval shape 6 to 7 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Draw tines of a fork in 3 lines along length of each noni for a decorative design. Paint each noni w/egg mixture and sprinkle over all 1/2 tsp. black cumin seeds. (This is traditional seed to use, but caraway seeds may be substituted if black cumin seed is unobtainable. Put noni on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The brown top will glisten. Makes 8 noni.
NOTE: Black Cumin (Bunium persicum B. Fedtsch): Smaller and sweeter than standard cumin seed; plants grow wild in Middle East. The seeds are used in Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Black cumin seeds are sprinkled on Afghan bread.