Barbari, a Persian Flat Bread
(I wrote this post before I left for Sicily so there are no direct links to Elizabeth’s post on the bread, I will try to remember to put those links into the text)
This month Elizabeth has chosen which bread we are baking and she turned all the way to Iran to find her bread, a Persian flatbread called Barbari. This an example of why I love being a Bread Baking Babe, never would I bake a Persian flatbread if Elizabeth hadn’t chosen it and I am happy she did. She baked hers on the barbecue, something I cannot do because we don’t have anything else than a simple grill that cannot be closed but next time I think I will try to make them on it anyway. I love the way you shape this bread but I would exclude the baking powder in the dough as I don’t think it makes any difference. My bread had a slightly chemical aftertaste and I don’t know if it was the baking powder in the dough or the baking soda in the sauce but I was the only one who felt that so don’t let that scare you. Elizabeth gives you directions on how to knead it by hand but I used my Kenwood because of the joint pains I’m having, I suggest you to do it by hand to make her happy!
If you want to make this bread with us and be a Bread Baking Buddy, click over to Elizabeth’s blog from OUR Kitchen to get all the details. But before you do that, check out if and how the other Babes baked their Barbari:
Bake My Day – Karen
Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Elle
girlichef – Heather
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
Paulchens Foodblog – Astrid
Provecho Peru – Gretchen
Barbari (Persian flatbread)
based on Lida’s recipe for Barbari Bread at 1001recipe.com
5 g (~1.5 tsp) active dry yeast
360 g (1.5 c) water, at 90F (32C) ¹
60 g (~0.5 c) 100% whole wheat flour
360 g (~2.75 c) unbleached all purpose flour
2 g (~0.5 tsp) baking powder
6 g (1 tsp) salt
nigella seeds (or black sesame, poppy, sesame seeds)
1 tsp 1/2 tsp flour
1 tsp 1/2 tsp baking soda
160 g (2/3 c) 80 gm (1/3 c) water
Pour the water into a largish bowl. Whisk in the yeast. Add the flours, baking powder and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto an UNfloured board. Using both hands on either side of the dough and thumbs resting on the top in the center, lift it up and flip it over in the air before plopping it back down on the board. Fold the dough in half away from you as you plop the dough down. Keep repeating until the dough is smooth. Every so often, use the dough scraper to clean the board. Stretching the dough is desired on the turns. But this won’t start happening right away.
When the dough is smooth, place it in a clean mixing bowl (there is no need to oil the bowl). Cover the bowl with a plate and leave in a draft-free area to rise to double.
Prepare the sauce: Whisk flour, baking soda and water in a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scatter a light dusting of flour on the board and gently remove the risen dough onto it. Don’t worry that the dough is quite slack. Cut the dough in half. Form each piece into a ball and place well apart on the cookie sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel followed by a plastic grocery bag and allow to rise to double in a draft-free area. (about an hour)
Brush each round with the sauce. Really slather the sauce on. It will keep your hands from sticking to the dough.
Dip your fingers in the sauce and dimple the rounds down to form two ovals with lengthwise furrows. Liberally brush ovals with the sauce once more and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Allow the ovals to stand for about 30 min.
Put a stone into the barbecue and preheat it to high. Before putting them onto the stone, pull each oval with your hands to lengthen it. Wet your hands so they won’t stick to the ovals and pull the dough from the bottom with your palms facing downwards.
Put the lengthened ovals onto the hot stone. Move the stone over to cook the bread on indirect heat. Close the barbecue lid. Every so often turn the bread around to account for uneven heat in the barbecue. Cook the bread until it is golden (about 15 minutes).