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Nan-e Barbari – Afghan Iranian Flatbread
Today we are baking a vegan version of this Persian flatbread. Iranian Nan-E Barbari – in Persian, nan-e barbari means “bread of the Easterners”. This probably refers to a group of people who traditionally lived near Iran’s eastern border and brought the bread to Tehran. The bread is baked in long loaves, but if you don’t have a large oven (like me) you’ll probably need to bake in two batches as well, as directed in this recipe.
This is a delicious Barbari bread with a crisp golden crust and a light and airy texture. It’s easy to tear apart, so no knife is needed to fill it with your choice of delicious fillings.
Nan-e Barbari tastes best when it’s still warm! Enjoy it with oriental dishes, with feta cheese, salads, hummus or as our child likes with a simple mint yoghurt for dipping. Sweet things such as honey also go well with Nan e Barbari.
Arabic bread is very similar to Turkish flatbread. The difference lies in the shape, because Nan-E Barbari is rather elongated (60 to 80 cm long) and slightly thinner. It is baked in a stone oven, as is typical in the Orient. Since not everyone has such a stone oven at home, I baked the bread almost as finely as the original in the home oven.
Methods of the Nan-E Barbari
There are 2 different methods to bake Nan-e Barbari.
On the one hand the method with a pre-dough, which is usually prepared the day before and then has to rest for 11 to 12 hours (overnight). This means that the dough can be prepared with less yeast. This also reduces the yeast taste and the little yeast has enough time to develop. The bread also stays fresh longer.
With the 2nd method, as we describe it here, the dough is prepared with more yeast and thus rises in just 60 minutes.
what goes well with Nan e Barbari:
- Sweet potato salad with homemade hummus
- Beetroot and herb tabbouleh
- Spicy beetroot curry
- tender miso onions from the oven
- Jackfruit Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- Baba Ganoush recipe
Iranian Nan-E Barbari Bread Recipe - vegan
for the dough:
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with sugar and salt. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
- Now put all the other ingredients in a bowl and form into a dough for about 9 to 10 minutes.
- Rub the dough with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent a skin from forming.
- Let the dough rise for about 1 hour until it has doubled in volume.
- Divide the dough in half and knead each half again on a floured work surface.
- Flatten the first half with your hands and then place it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. In doing so, stretch the bread.
- Brush the dough with some milk.
- Now press the typical longitudinal grooves into the dough with your fingertips.
- Sprinkle with sesame and black cumin.
- Now pierce the grooves again with a fork.
- Now let the prepared bread rest for another 20 minutes. in the meantime you can preheat the oven to 220 °C.
- Press the grooves again with your fingertips and bake the bread for about 15 minutes, preparing the second bread during this time.
- When the bread is done baking, immediately sprinkle with a little water and brush with a little olive oil (or butter). Don't use a lot of oil.
- Cover with a kitchen towel for about 5 minutes. The first loaf is ready and you can now push the second.