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Skilled Georgian Puri Baker Plies His Craft in Armenia

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Georgian baker Bakari Bodaveli begins by mixing the four main ingredients - water, flour, salt and yeast.

Bakari Bodaveli is a master at making the traditional flat and crispy Georgian bread called shotis puri [pronounced “poo-ree”]. The 34-year-old Georgian baker moved to Armenia nine months ago and has been the main bread maker for Genatsvale, a Georgian restaurant in the capital of Yerevan owned by Armenians who once lived in Georgia.

To make the flat, crunchy shotis puri, the ingredients are water, flour, salt and yeast. After mixing and kneading the dough, Bodaveli lets it stand in the mixer for at least for 40 minutes to rise. Afterwards he cuts from the mass of dough the individual "bowls" of bread, places them in rows and again lets them to stand for at least another hour. Then Bodaveli starts to form the individual flat breads to be stuck onto the inside wall of the heated clay oven called a tone [pronounced “ton-AY”]. Once the tone reaches the desired heat - not determined by a thermometer but by testing the inside wall with loose flour - Bodaveli slaps the bread inside to bake for 10 minutes.

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Anahit Hayrapetyan is a freelance photojournalist based in Yerevan.

Skilled Georgian Puri Baker Plies His Craft in Armenia

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