Nan E-Barbari


This bread marks a milestone in my baking life. I bought the book ‘Hot Bread Kitchen’ just by looking at this bread on the cover almost a year ago. Ever since I would glance at it every once in a while and sweep my hands over the images trying to feel the texture of the bread through the pages. But I kept postponing the actual bake. I was very scared and somehow convinced I would make a mess of it. I read the recipe a few hundred times and would sigh every time as I slammed the book shut.

But I knew if I did not do it during this mega marathon, I would not get a better chance. I am baking breads almost every day for the past fortnight and felt a tad more confident, mostly due to very encouraging comments I got for my efforts so far. So I dived in and tried this phenomenal looking bread. Guess what, it turned out tasting simply divine.


Nan-e-Barbari is a Persian flatbread and is known to be one of the thickest flatbreads. It is usually almost 3 feet in length and nearly one foot in breadth. It is served with cucumbers, olives and feta cheese though I totally recommend biting into its crispy crust as soon as it is baked. The crisp crust is on account of a glaze applied over the dough before baking which is called the ‘roomal’. The roomal or glaze is nothing but a mixture of flour, sugar, oil and water heated to form a thick paste and this glaze is what gives the nan its to-die-for crisp crust. The traditional barbari oven is specialized for baking barbari breads. The oven, always built within wall, is a masonry, brick-domed, wood-fired oven with a circular hearth and relatively flat dome. A typical barbari oven has an internal floor diameter of 300 centimeters (118 inches) and internal dome height of 60 centimeters (23.6 inches), which renders it a low-dome oven. If you are interested, you can read this very detailed account on this bread here.


Country – Iran

Makes two 10″ breads

Recipe adapted from ‘The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook’


For the dough

All purpose flour                           2 cups

Lukewarm water                           1 cup

Instant yeast                                   1 tsp heaped

Salt                                                    1 tsp

Olive Oil for greasing

For the roomal

All purpose flour                           1 1/2 tsp

Sugar                                                1/4 tsp

Cool water                                       40 ml

Olive oil                                           4-5 drops


Sesame seeds, caraway seeds and carom seeds to sprinkle



  • Mix the flour, lukewarm water, yeast and salt together and knead for 8-10 minutes by hand until smooth and elastic
  • Transfer it to a greased bowl and cover with cling wrap and set aside till the dough doubles in size, about an hour
  • Grease a baking tray or line it with parchment paper
  • Take out the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions
  • Take each dough portion and roll it into a rectangle approximately 10″ in length and 3 inches wide and place it on the baking tray
  • Loosely cover it with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes
  • In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the glaze – flour, water, oil and sugar.
  • Turn on the heat at medium and whisk the mixture using a fork till it becomes a paste, less than a minute
  • Set aside to cool
  • Preheat the oven to 235C
  • Lightly oil your fingers and make indents in the dough almost resembling 4-5 straight lines vertically
  • With a brush, spread the roomal / glaze generously on the dough
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds, caraway seeds and carom seeds on top
  • Bake for 18 minutes by which time the top should have turned golden brown. Else wait for a minute or two more
  • Set it on a wirerack and let cool slightly
  • Serve with cucumbers, olives and feta cheese or have it as is
  • Enjoy!



  1. The recipe prescribed bread flour for the dough but I used all purpose flour.
  2. The toppings can be other seeds of your choice – nigella seeds, black sesame seeds, cumin seeds, etc.
  3. The bread stays good at room temperature if wrapped well in plastic upto a week. To store for longer time, freeze it


This is my post for the mega marathon under the letter ‘N’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

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