Sunday, 30 June 2013

Nan e Barbari - Persian flatbread

Elizabeth from blog from OUR kitchen set the BBB (Bread Baking Babes) challenge for this month and promised us BBBuddies some hand-kneading fun.

We are making a Persian flatbread, topped with a sauce and seeds. All by hand. Which suits me absolutely fine.

It started with a very wet dough made from parts plain flour and a little whole wheat, some yeast and baking powder, salt and water. After a lot of slapping, folding, scraping off hands and more folding the dough was still very wet. I performed some stretch and folds during the first rise, hoping the dough would strengthen, which it did, a little. I wasn't too worried, because we were making a FLAT bread after all.

The sauce to top the bread is called Romal: a boiled mixture of water, flour and baking soda. Mine boiled over big time, so keep an eye on your saucepan. It did give me an idea of the smell it would bring to the bread: my cooker was covered in burnt Romal which didn't smell too badly!

After the first rise the dough is divided into two balls and left to rise again. I made the mistake of brushing the Romal on at this stage, a bit too early. After the second rise -with or without Romal- the two balls are shaped into ridged flatbreads, covered with Romal once more and topped with seeds of your choice.

After another rise (I had to skip the stretching of the loafs because they were glued to the baking paper ) I baked my flatbreads on a very hot stone in a preheated oven (preheated on the highest temperature which is 220C in my fan oven) for about 18 minutes. I put the temperature down to 180C as soon as the breads were loaded onto the stone.

Please find the exact recipe here on Elizabeth's blog.
We enjoyed the nan e barbari with goats cheese, olive tapenade and roasted peppers as a wonderful pre dinner snack.