Studded with raw nuts, raisins, goji berries and dried apricot, this energy-building bread is rich in proteins and antioxidants, and has sustained the local inhabitants of the remote and spectacularly mountainous Hunza Valley region in northern Pakistan for nearly 2000 years.
I remember eating this wholesome bread while trekking through the Himalayas, after trudging into another hill town, feeling the lack of oxygen, and watching school kids running up the stairs past us as if they were on flat ground.
The Hunza people live highly secluded lives, barely mingling with neighbouring communities. Perhaps this bread is one of the keys to their famed longevity!
Add the yeast to the lukewarm water and whisk briefly, then set aside for 5–10 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface.
Combine the remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or mix by hand with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
Set aside in a warm place to allow the yeast to work, for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Grease a baking tin measuring 30 x 15 cm (12 x 6 inches), with 3 cm (1¼ inch) deep sides, and line with baking paper. Add the dough to the baking tin and leave to rise for a further 1 hour.
Traditionally this bread is enjoyed fresh, torn up and either eaten with tea, or actually put into the tea, to make a kind of porridge.
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