What is Lahvash? Here is a little history…This unique flatbread was naturally born in the Caucuses thousands of years ago when man started to harvest wheat. In fact, it is the first bread that humankind made…stone grinding the wheat into flour, adding water to make dough. Imagine the dough ball they had and placing into a fire pit…This dough ball would burn on the outside and still be raw in the middle. They learned that hand stretching and flattening it to a thin sheet they could put this flat dough on top of hot stones allowing it to cook very quickly on one side. They would then flip the flatbread over with sticks cooking the other side.
In those early years, the Armenians perfected this flatbread and called it Lahvash. They built wood-fired dome shaped brick ovens. They knew that retaining high temperatures in an enclosed baking chamber they could fully cook this bread with radiant heat and the flames of the wood inside these dome ovens. By baking this way, they realized this would naturally preserve this unique flatbread. The bread was soft fresh out of the oven but quickly dried when left out in the open because it was very thin. This was the perfect way to store on their attic shelves for those winter months when they had no wheat to make Lahvash.
The beauty of this Lahvash is that you can hydrate bread and make it soft and pliable by putting moist towels on top of and underneath and within a few minutes, you have soft bread as if made that morning.
This unique bread made its way to the Middle East, Asia, The Mediterranean, and Europe and finally to the Western culture. Many variations were born from Lahvash… the Pita, Tannour, Chapati, Naan, Greek Pita, even the Pizza Crust from Italy.