Barbari is an Iranian style flatbread also called Persian flatbread. It’s a little bit thicker than a normal flat bread. What makes it distinctive is the paste of flour and oil spread on top before baking and the parallel lines in the top, created by the baker’s fingers.
Barbari Iranian Flatbread [Vegan]
For the Bread:
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- semolina or cornmeal for baking
For the Topping:
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and pour in almost all of the water. Pull the flour from the sides and stir with a heavy duty spoon until a shaggy, sticky dough forms. Add the rest of the water if needed.
- Dust your work surface with a little flour and turn out the dough. Knead for five minutes or so until it is smooth and elastic. Add a minimum of flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Rinse and dry the mixing bowl and pour a tablespoon of oil in the bottom. Return the ball of dough to the bowl and turn to cover with oil. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, around 2 hours.
- After the dough has risen the first time, punch it down and divide it half.
- Form the portions into oval shapes. Cover and let rise for another hour.
- Measure the oil, water, flour and sugar into a small saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until a paste forms. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and sprinkling with semolina.
- Roll or form the dough into long ovals, using your baking sheets as a guide. Transfer the flatbreads to the prepared baking sheets.
- Dip your fingers in water and make 4 or 5 long parallel ridges in the dough.
- Rub the paste into the tops of the dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can deepen the ridges if you'd like at this point.
- Transfer the flatbreads to the hot oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the bread is golden colored and cooked through.