Naan-e-Barbari, Persian/Iranian Traditional Bread. An oval shaped, bread with a crisp outer and a light and airy texture, also known as Tabrizi Bread or Nan-e Tabrizi.Jump to Recipe
My search for a Naan bread, lead me to this Persian/Iranian Traditional Bread. Naan-e-barbari, bread baked by barbars. an ethnic group of people who lived in Iran. Though the name Barbari has been abandoned and no longer applies to the ethnic group, however, the bread is still referred to as Naan-e Barbari. While Hazaras refer to it as Naan-e Tandoori (bread made in the Tandoor oven).
What got my eye in this bread is the use of roomal/baking soda glaze – mixture of flour, water & soda for that beautiful golden color and texture on top.
Bread Baking is Therapeutic
Don’t you agree? The magic of plain flour, water and salt with addition of yeast and lots of love from your hands, turn into something crusty, soft and fluffy. I love watching bread in the oven. Don’t think i m creepy, you can ask many regular bakers, we just love how with constant heat, the bread slowly raises and forms a beautiful crust.
Try it to believe it. If you are a beginner to bread baking, I would recommend try this German potato bread Kartoffelbrot made with just flour, potato and yeast. Every begginer should definitely try this quick and easy bread. Yet another easy bread Faluche du nord, a traditional bread from northern France.
Once you catch the baking bug, then there is no stopping. These no knead pizza rolls are my family and many of my friends favorite. There is whole world of no knead breads out there like these Cheddar garlic rolls. I think i have given you enough crazy baking bug with this list.
Step by Step instructions to Naan-e-barbari
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- First and foremost keep all ingredients at room temperature, except for the water needed to make the dough which has to be lukewarm to activate the yeast.
- Water should be lukewarm, like when you dip your finger into water, it should feel hot, not scalding hot. Scalding hot & cold water both would kill the yeast.
- I use my food processor to make the bread dough. So, in a processor bowl, take honey, lukewarm water and yeast and run it once for it mix well and yeast to dissolve.
- Now to this add half the mentioned flour and pulse 2-3 times, so the flur and water is well mixed and resembles battery dough. let this sit for 20 minutes.
- After the said time, the batter would be spongy. To this now add remaining flour, baking powder and salt and knead to make a soft and spongy dough and comes easily off the sides of the food processor.
- Remove the dough on to the kitchen surface, oil your hands and start kneading the dough. Hold the dough in both hands and flip it over and beat it down hard on your work surface while still holding it. It is just like how we use to wash our clothes before the washing machine era
- Fold the dough in half away from you, and repeat this beating motion a few times until your dough is really soft and smooth. Your dough should pass the window pane test.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl and cover. Let it rise until double in volume.
- In the meanwhile prepare the “Roomal” or baking soda-flour glaze for the bread. I mixed everything and chucked into the microwave for 2 minutes @ medium heat. It can be made on the stove-top too. Let it cool down completely.
- After the dough doubles, remove it to the work surface, Divide into equal portions and let it sit covered for another 30-40 minutes for second proofing.
- Once it doubles, Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface, using your fingers lightly press out into an oval approximately 7” by 5”.
- Brush the entire surface of the dough well, with the “Roomal” or baking soda-flour glaze.
- Dip your fingers in the “Roomal” and then use them to form 4 lengthwise furrows.
- Transfer it to a baking sheet dusted with semolina. Allow the ovals to rise for about 20 minutes till they’re nice and puffy.
- Bake them at 200C for about 20 minutes till they’re done and golden brown. Serve them warm with cheese or a dip or just plain with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
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More Yeast Breads
Naan-e-Barbari | Traditional Iranian Flat-Bread
For the dough
- 1 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ cups warm water at 45C/ 90F
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Nigella seeds / Sesame seeds/ Poppy seeds to sprinkle i used both nigella & sesame seeds
For the Roomal/baking soda-flour glaze:
- ½ teaspoon flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup water
- Take yeast, honey and the warm water in the food processor bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix, and allow the yeast to dissolve. Then add 1 ¼ cups of flour and pulse a couple of times so you have batter-like mixture. Leave this in the bowl for about 20 minutes.
- The mixture in the food processor bowl should be “spongy” looking by now. Add the remaining flour, baking powder, salt and process until you have a pliable dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn out the dough onto an un-floured working surface. The dough might stick a little to your surface and if you find it difficult to work with this, lightly oil your work surface or use a dough scraper. Do NOT add flour! I added oil to the dough first and started working it.
- Hold the dough in both hands and flip it over and beat it down hard on your work surface while still holding it. It is just like how we use to wash our clothes before the washing machine era. The dough will stretch a bit and the other end will land on the work surface with a “thwacking” sound. Fold the dough in half away from you, and repeat this beating motion a few times until your dough is really soft and smooth. Your dough should pass the window pane test.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl and cover. Let it rise until double in volume. Though there is no need to oil the bowl, i oiled the bowl well and placed the dough inside for proofing. I left the dough for about 2 hours, since it is a bit chill here now.
Let us make Roomal
- In the meanwhile prepare the “Roomal” or baking soda-flour glaze for the bread. Put all the ingredients together in a microwave-safe mug, Microwave cook @ medium heat, for 2 minutes, until the solution thickens a bit. Take it out and let the solution cool to room temperature. The same can be prepared on a stove-top, just whisk everything together in a pan, heat until boils and forms thick and spreadable solution
Divide & Second Proof
- Lightly flour your work surface. Turn out the dough onto it (do not knead) and divide it into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place them apart on a sheet and cover with a towel and allow to rise for another 30 -40 minutes, until double its volume
Let us make the flat-bread
- Work on one ball of dough at a time, keeping the others covered so they don’t dry out. Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface and, using your fingers (lightly dust them with flour if you feel the need), lightly press out into an oval approximately 7” by 5”. Brush the entire surface of the dough well, with the “Roomal” or baking soda-flour glaze.
- Dip your fingers in the “Roomal” and then use them to form 4 lengthwise furrows. You can press down almost to the bottom, as the “furrows” will disappear once the dough rises. I didn't get it properly with my fingers, so i used back of a spoon to make the same. Dip the back of spoon in roomal and press it on the dough to form a furrow. Sprinkle the Nigella seeds over the surface of the furrowed ovals.
- Transfer it to a baking sheet dusted with semolina. The oval will elongate slightly when you pick it up. Otherwise, very gently stretch the oval from both ends making sure it is uniformly thick along its length and breadth. Allow the ovals to rise for about 20 minutes till they’re nice and puffy.
- While the ovals are resting, preheat the oven to 200C.
- Bake them in a preheated oven, for about 20 minutes till they’re done and golden brown. Serve them warm with cheese or a dip or just plain with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I served them hot with some Soup for snack.
- Any leftover bread, can be stored on the kitchen counter, tightly wrapped for a day or two. If storing more then better to refrigerate or better freeze. Enjoy it warm. since i made just 4 small ovals, it got over the same day for me.
Enjoy this crispy, light and airy bread for your breakfast with a variety of dips or as a dinner with a warm bowl of soup.
I served this bread along with some potato & carrot soup for dinner today. Such a filling meal it was. It might even taste better with some tahini/hummus too