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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chekiches Provide a Punchy Bread Finale

The first place I ever saw a bread punch in use was Gala Asiya, a quarter of Samarkand famous for sourdough breads. In a little room decorated with an ancient Bruce Lee poster, an Uzbek baker was demonstrating how she made bread.

When she had rolled out a round, flat loaf, she picked up her chekich, made of wood with nails in it. She made a circle of punch marks in the loaf, then dabbed each punch with a spice. This pattern of punches and spice was her family's trademark. It was also functional. Flat breads, especially leavened ones, tend to develop bubbles or even puff upas they bake. The puch markes ensure this doesn't happen.