The crusty round yeasted loaves of Amdo balep take their name from the Amdo region of northeastern Tibet, but are popular also in other areas of Tibet. The bakers of amdo balep will sometimes cover the dough in the ashes of a fire instead of using an oven or stove. Though we use yeast here, Tibetans will also make this bread with baking powder or a kind of starter. We also mix whole wheat and white flour, though some would use only white flour. Traditionally, in Tibet, the loaves were most likely a kind of whole wheat, as refined wheats did not exist in many places due to a lack of the necessary milling equipment. Our friend Lungtok la told us that in his home town in Amdo, the village people would make huge balep on special occasions — so large that two people could hardly lift them!
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