Nan-e Barbari

In Persian, nan-e barbari translates to “bread of the Barbars,” a group of people who traditionally lived near Iran’s eastern borders. This recipe from Hot Bread Kitchen makes one long loaf, but unless you have a really big oven, you’ll likely need to make two oblongs, as directed in this recipe. Get the lowdown on 5 types of Eastern Mediterranean flatbreads, here

Nan-e Barbari
Makes 2 (14x5-inch) loaves
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast (1 envelope)
  • 4 cups (512 grams) bread flour, plus more for shaping
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon canola oil (2.5 grams), plus more for greasing bowl
  • ⅓ cup cool water
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) sesame seeds
  1. Stir together 2 cups lukewarm water and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add the bread flour and salt and mix on low speed until the flour is integrated. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is elastic, about 6 minutes. The dough should be cleaning the sides of the bowl. Coat the inside of a large bowl with canola oil and transfer the dough to it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put the whole bowl in a large plastic bag and let rest at room temperature until the dough is softer than a firm balloon, is supple, and holds an indentation when pressed lightly, about 1 hour.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half (each piece should weigh about 490 grams). Gently form each piece into a rectangle and perform a log roll. Loosely cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let rest at room temperature until the dough has risen and is supple, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, oil, and ⅓ cup cool water in a small saucepan. Cook the flour paste over medium heat, whisking, until bubbles form around the edges and it becomes thick and opaque, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Put a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven and preheat to 450°. Let the stone heat up for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Line the back of a baking sheet with parchment. Put one piece of dough on the parchment; leave the other covered and in a cool place. Gently pulling the ends and pressing down on the dough, extend it into a 14x5-inch rectangle. Using your fingers, press 5 deep lengthwise ridges into the dough being sure not to break the dough. Rub half of the flour paste over the surface and sprinkle with half of the nigella and sesame seeds.
  7. Slide the dough and parchment onto the hot stone and bake until the bread has puffed up and is golden brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack, dispose of the parchment, and repeat the process to make the second loaf. Serve warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature for up to a couple of days.

 Recipe excerpted from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez. Book photography by Jennifer May. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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