The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Barbari bread

Brian D's picture
Brian D

Barbari bread

Anyone know how to make a really good Persian Barbari bread? I so want to make my own. I long for the taste and smell of my Tehran days.

Windischgirl's picture

Hi Brian: I have never tasted or made Barbari, so I cannot guarantee this is an authentic recipe.  However, everything else I have baked out of this book has worked and my family has enjoyed.   

You can find a recipe in Bread: The Breads of the World and How to Bake Them at Home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter (apparently there is an earlier version of the same book called The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making).  The authors are British.   Published 2007 by Hermes House/Anness Publishing Ltd.  I picked the book up at Borders was being remaindered...or you can try ""

I would print the recipe here, but there is a very stern warning on the cover about copyrights and getting prior permission.  I have children and need to be a good example! 

Hope your quest is successful. 


aka Paula

Philadelphia PA

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I hate to answer a question with a question, but I will anyway.... 

A Persian friend told us about the wonders that is nan-e barbari so I tried a few recipes.  And when I thought I had a good one, we sent some to her.


She said we had the taste right, but that the bread should be floppy.  Ours had a crisp crust and a tender interior.  It wasn't shaped as well as I wanted.


She found some nan-e barbari at a local Persian market (here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth  area).  Sure enough, it was floppy.  It was also stale and tasteless and only browned on one side, which we thought was amazing.


So, in order to help me zero in on what I should be doing, and so I'll be able to come with a recipe I can share with you, could you describe fresh nan-e barbari as you bought it in Tehran? 





Brian D's picture
Brian D

As I remember...

Fresh Barbari was soft, but not floppy. It was soft and firm at the same time. The bread is a flat bread and should be easy to open. One would insert maybe yogurt or goats cheese/feta cheese as one desires. The bottom was not burnt and the top covered with sesame seeds and golden brown. I've had local (LA and New York) Barbari and they are totally different. Guess I'd have to go back to Tehran and get some samples. LOL

I've found the recipe on different sites, Windi aka Paula, and tried them to no avail. I am guessing the flour used in Iran is very different than here in the US. That's all I can remember of the bread. I can identify the smell right away. When I smell fresh Barbari, it is the 1970s all over again. :)

My Iranian friends don't bake, but the do cook Iranian style rice and have helped me develope that. Not the same but almost. So I was hoping for an Iranian who bakes bread to give me some tips. 


PaddyL's picture

This is from Gail Duff's Bread, 150 Traditional breads from around the world.


1 oz. fresh yeast or 1 tbsp. dried

1-1/2 cups warm water

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps. salt

1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for shaping

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 4 tbsp. of the water.  Leave this to stand - five minutes for fresh yeast and 15 for dried.  Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.  Pour in the yeast mixture and about half the remaining water.  Mix in a small portion of flour from the sides of the well.  Leave the bowl in a warm place for 20 minutes until the liquid in the centre is frothing.  Add the remaining water and the oil.  Mix everything to a dough.  Turn it on to a floured work surface and knead it until it is smooth.  Return it to the bowl, cover it and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 deg.F.  Turn the dough on to an oiled work surface and divide it in four equal pieces.  With oiled hands and an oiled rolling pin, roll each piece into a rectangle about 5 x 12 inches and 1/2 inch thick.  Lay the loaves on floured baking sheets.  Brush the tops with oil and make four parallel cuts down each loaf, stopping 3/4 inch from the ends.  Make the cuts wider by running a finger down them.  Leave the loaves for 5 minutes and then bake them for 15 minutes, or until they are golden-brown.  Cool them on wire racks.

amazonium's picture

Thank you for the link to the youtube video! I am visiting my daughter in Houston and we bought "matnakash" bread at the bakery at the Phoenicia market- omg it was good- so I began searching for a recipe, of course. I think this might be the one. The bread I bought was dusted with semolina, I think. If I get a chance to go back before leaving town I am going to TRY to talk to the bakers and see just what kinds of flours they use. I bought a 2-pack and we made panninis with most of it and had the last of it toasted with breakfast. So so good.