PHOTO: Egyptian Traditional Bread Oven in Luxor, Egypt

Woman in Luxor invites me into her home to see her Egyptian traditional bread oven

On my way to the ancient tombs and temples in Luxor, Egypt, this woman invited me into her home to see her Egyptian traditional bread oven. The delicious smell of fresh-baked bread stopped me in my tracks as I wandered past her house. Lined up in a row on a stone bench were a dozen or so loaves of the flatbread that is so popular in Egypt. She spoke no English and I spoke not a word of Arabic, but somehow we made a connection and before I knew it I was inside her home and she was demonstrating how she rolled and formed the dough before sliding it into the beehive-shaped stone hearth.

I enjoyed my visit to Egypt immensely, and have to say that Luxor was a particular favorite destination, especially my visit to Karnak Temple to see the Great Hypostyle Hall.

4 thoughts on “PHOTO: Egyptian Traditional Bread Oven in Luxor, Egypt”

  1. I lived and worked in Egypt, Turkey and Iran, among many other countries beginning in 1955. My job in Turkey took me in the early 1960s into the very isolated villages of eastern Turkey where life was still lived pretty much the way it had been for 2000 years. The ovens used there were of the bee-hive, clay brick type. They were about 4.5 feet high and about 6 feet in diameter. There was a hole at the bottom for air and a round hole on top about 14 inches in diameter through which the women reached in and slapped their dough on the side of the oven where it stuck until baked and easily pulled loose. Each 3 or 4 families shared one oven. It was fired with twigs, small branches, waste paper, leaves and anything else combustible. It blazed away for about 20 minutes before the top was opened and about 30 loaves of dough were slapped onto the interior walls of the oven and the stopper placed back into the top hole. Thirty minutes later all was baked, and each lady removed her loaves. The flour used was from wheat grown and threshed by each family. The bread was excellent.

    • Hi Neil: I’ve seen those ovens in Turkey, actually. They’re a little bit different than the one I saw, ad the bread this woman was cooking was thicker than the kind they slap on the side, but I’m sure the concept is very much the same. It’s really quite amazing how the entire community collaborates to make the bread for everyone in the village.

  2. What a memorable experience! We were once invitied into the homes of complete strangers on a New Mexico Pueblo. Invited to sit at their table and have lunch. An experience we won\’t forget.

    • Hi Rebecca: Yes, it’s always the locals whom I meet that make my travels special. I’m always so surprised, but very grateful, for their willingness to bring me into their homes.


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