The Fresh Loaf

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Barbari (Iranian Flat Bread)



Bread Baking Day 7 with the theme flatbreads hosted by Petra Chili und Ciabatta . Deadline: March 1st, 2008

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So here is my first entry into bread baking day. The theme is flatbreads and I made this Iranian flatbread, Barbari. This is one of the national breads of Iran. This recipe came from the “Jewish-Iraqi health nut/dietitian”, Clemence Horesh and is from Maggie Glezer’s A Blessing of Bread. I made a few modifications and it turned out great. I halved the recipe so as to only make one loaf rather than two and you’ll see my other modifications as indicated by asterisks (*). I’ll post the halved recipe. Here goes:


375 g bread flour (* I used 300 g bread flour and 75 g spelt flour)

1 tsp instant yeast

252 g warm water (*I used oatstraw tea that I had just brewed instead, I highly recommend trying herbal teas in lieu of water. This was my first time and I liked it)

7 g salt

4 g sugar

28 g vegetable or olive oil (*I used a mixture of olive oil and toasted sesame seed oil)

1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Sesame and poppy seeds for sprinkling (*I also used sunflower seeds)


Mixing the yeast slurry:

Combine 150 grams of the bread flour and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn on with paddle attachment in a low speed. Add the water and mix until smooth. Let this stand for about 20 minutes until it puffs up slightly.


Mixing the Dough:

Still using the paddle attachment beat on low and add the sugar, salt and oil. When the salt and sugar have dissolved switch to the dough hook. Add the remaining flour and mix for about 5 minutes. The dough will clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom just under the hook. The dough should feel very sticky, soft and wet.

Proofing the dough:

Form into a ball, place into an oiled bowl and cover. (At this point you can put it into the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just pull it out an hour before shaping.) Let it rise to double, about an hour and a half.



Lay out a piece of parchment paper either on a sheet pan or on your work surface and place the proofed dough on top. Gently flatten your dough to about an inch in thickness and stretch to about 9 by 17 inches. Brush the beaten egg onto the surface. Now take the back end of your wooden spoon and furrow long channels in the dough (I know, I should have photographed this). Take your spoon end and, at a 45 degree angle jab it into the dough until you hit the board below, then lightly drag it down a couple inches, then jab again and over and over from one end to the other. Do this in about four rows across the dough. Like this:







Yeah? Ok. This is to prevent the dough from puffing too much in the oven. Sprinkle the dough generously with seeds.



You have a preheated 550f oven right now right? Me neither, my oven only goes to 500f, but it worked. Place your dough either onto a baking stone or onto a preheated sheet pan. If you used a sheet pan to shape the dough initially, leave it (if your using a preheated one too, just stack them). If you just used parchment as I did, then just move it either with a peel or with careful hands and forearms as I did to the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The top will look a little pale, but the bottom should be browned.



Broil for a minute before serving.