Shrak is the traditional Arabic bread that was prepared at home by our grandmothers for centuries. With development, more and more families moved to large cities where modern bakeries that provide all kinds of bread are everywhere. Most Jordanian families started buying ready-made bread and this ancient tradition of preparing home-made shark bread almost came to an end!
In recent years, with the spread of Arabic-Food restaurants many reintroduced this part of our heritage. Restaurants nowadays hire old village women dressed in the traditional, embroidered folkloric dress, to bake Shrak bread in front of guests. They use modern “Taboun” stoves; a large, dome shaped metal dish that heats up and the shrak bread is baked on it. Some restaurants even have the old, traditional clay stove. Now visitors can enjoy the delicious taste of the hot, freshly baked shrak bread, plus take pleasure in smelling the aroma of the bread as it bakes.
I learned how to prepare Shrak from watching one of these women in a restaurant in Amman. After I moved with my family to live in Cyprus I often missed our food and especially the bread. Remembering the women baking the Shrak and how easy it looked, I decided to give it a try. My main obstacle was what to use in place of the “Taboon”!
One day while working in the kitchen the Chinese “Wok” caught my attention, turning it over, I notice how similar its rounded bottom was to the Taboon stove. I was thrilled, I’ll use the Wok! It was a big success! The first time I used white flour for the dough and we all felt that the bread was missing something. The second time, I used half white flour and half whole-wheat flour and got delicious Shrak bread.
Now we frequently enjoy eating Shrak bread. We enjoy it with mansaf, musakhan, shawarma, and kabab sandwiches.
Homemade Shrak Bread Recipe
Guest post prepared and submitted by Sawsan Al-Kayed.
Preparation time: 15 min Cook time: 15 min
1/2 kilo whole-wheat flour
1/2 kilo flour (flour) white
2 table spoons instant yeast
2 table spoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups warm water (or as needed)
How to make Shrak Bread:
- Put yeast and sugar in a cup and add 1/2 cup warm water. Mix and leave for 10 minutes until yeast is bubbly.
- In a large bowl add all the remaining ingredients except the water. Then add the yeast and only one cup water. Knead the dough, if you notice that it is too dry and difficult to form into a smooth ball, then it needs more water. Add a little of water gradually and knead until you have a smooth dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with nylon and leave for an hour until the dough doubles in size.
- Divide the dough into about 18 equal pieces (each piece between 90 and 100 grams). Form the pieces into balls and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Cover them with a towel and leave to rise for half an hour.
- Sprinkle flour on the surface on which you will roll the dough.
- Put the Wok (upside-down) on the oven top and open the fire on high.
- Roll the dough ball on the floured surface until you have a very thin round sheet of dough.
- Place the dough sheet on the hot wok and bake on one side only. Once shrak bread is ready remove and cover with a kitchen towel immediately so as not to dry. Repeat the process with the remaining balls of dough.
- Extra Shrak bread can be frozen in a plastic zip-lock bag.
Hope you enjoyed today’s easy recipe: Home-made Shrak bread; the ancient and traditional bread of the Middle East. Bon appetite.
اضغط الرابط لقراءة وصفة خبز الشراك باللغة العربية
Sawsan Al-Kayed: I am a cook addict who loves to prepare Arabic and Middle Eastern dishes especially the old traditional dishes. My love of cooking started at an early age; I always helped my mother in the kitchen and learned a lot from her. The first dish I cooked was for my dad when I was 10 years old. Even when I was a full-time bank employee, I found refuge in my kitchen and always read the latest cookbooks and watched the cooking channels. I believe that if you love cooking, you’ll find it easy and fun.