лепёшка (lepyoshka) is the local bread of the Central Asia region. It is the ideal combination of a soft and chewy inside, a crunchy thin crust, and a hint of salt that balances the flavor of the dough. It’s absolute perfection!
These breads can be found locally everywhere and anywhere from large supermarkets to makeshift kiosks on street corners with only a slight differentiation. You basically choose between a large or medium size that’s either plain or with a light sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
Our favorite way to eat the лепёшка is piping hot right out of the clay oven. Lucky for us, we get the opportunity fairly often! On one of our many trips to the mountains we discovered two Uzbek men making лепёшки on the side of the road. They were standing over the opening of a dome shaped oven with a glove on one hand and bright red faces from the heat. Their бабушка (grandmother) sat behind them preparing and kneading the dough and then lining up the лепёшки on long tables to be placed in the oven.
We befriended these Uzbeks and now stop to get fresh bread every time we head east to the mountains. They even let Travis take a go at baking the лепёшки. He’s a natural! It’s a bit of a skill to get the breads to stick to the inside of the unbearably hot concave oven. One has to literally put half their body (waist up) inside the oven to obtain just the right angle so that the dough sticks to the inside when you give it a firm toss. Once stuck in place, the breads bake until golden brown. And let me tell you, it takes discipline and a good dose of patience to let the bread cool down before tearing off a piece!