An Iranian Breakfast – Nan-E-Barbari

How to bake the traditional Iranian breakfast bread, Nan-E-Barbari

Nan-E-Barbari, or Barbari Bread, is one of the most commonly eaten breads in Iran. Often eaten for breakfast with soft or feta cheese, it gets its distinctive crust from a glaze known as “Romal,” made with baking soda.

Despite being quite a wet dough, it is a very easy bread to make – primarily because, as a flatbread, you don’t need to worry too much about shaping the loaf.

[one_half]1) Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the baking powder, yeast and salt, making sure that the yeast and salt don’t touch in the bowl. Add 3/4 of the water, adding more as needed, and mix with your hands until the ingredients form a dough. You may need to use more or less than 350ml water, depending on the flour you use.

2) Lightly oil a work surface. Scrape the dough onto the oiled surface, and knead for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes smooth, silky and springy.

3) Divide the dough into two balls, and leave on a floured baking tray for an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.

4) While the dough is rising, mix all of the ingredients for the glaze together and bring to a boil. Then, let it cool before use.
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You will need:

450g Strong White Bread flour
350ml water
7g (1 sachet) instant-action yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
poppy seeds

For the glaze:

160ml water
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
[/alert][/one_half_last]5) Once the dough has doubled in size, brush it with some of the glaze. Then, with your fingers dipped in glaze, push down on the dough to make it flat. Pull your fingers along the dough to give the bread the trademark grooves.

6) Brush the dough with the glaze once again, and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let it rise again for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C.

7) Bake the Nan-E-Barbari for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with soft or feta cheese.

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