Easy Persian Barbari Bread

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Nan barbari is a classic Persian bread that’s easy to make. With a nice crust and soft inside, this recipe results in a tasty homemade bread suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

Nan barbari is a classic Persian bread that’s easy to make. With a nice crust and soft inside, this recipe results in a tasty homemade bread suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


 

We are here to show you the beauty of Persian cuisine and today I’m going to show you how to make barbari, a delicious Iranian bread topped with sesame seeds. Barbari for us Iranians is what simit is to Turkish people. You can serve barbari as a part of a Persian appetizer platter or simply enjoy it on its own with some Persian yogurt and cucumber

Yesterday I decided to make some barbari and I thought to myself, why not have you guys tag along and enjoy the therapeutic process of making bread with me? 

The bread turned out beautiful. A bit crispy on the outside and so fluffy and soft on the inside. With a hint of saltiness, the bread paired perfectly with a simple block of cheese and some walnuts. 

And then came the flood of messages from everyone asking for the recipe and I was so excited to see such enthusiasm over a Persian recipe! I mean, homemade bread is fun and all, but this one is definitely a favorite. 

So I jumped on the opportunity and turned my little kitchen victory into a complete blog post for you to make this bread at home. 

nan barbari is a classic Persian bread that you can make at home.

What is nan e barbari?

Also known as noon barbari, this is a classic Persian bread. Naan means bread in Farsi and barbari refers to the Hazara people in Khorasan province. Nan-e-barbari looks like flatbread, but a bit thicker. It’s always topped with sesame seeds and sometimes nigella seeds as well. In Iran, you can get it daily from bakeries all around the country. It’s usually long and oval, with stripes on top and a nice golden color that comes from the topping called “roomal.” Needless to say, barbari is also vegan. 

About this recipe

This is a simplified barbari recipe that you can make at home with pantry staples. Just like manakish zaatar and pita bread, the dough is quite forgiving and comes together easily. The traditional barbari dough could be a bit hard to work with since it’s very sticky and transferring it to the oven could be challenging. So I put together this easy recipe to give you the same tasty bread without a hassle. 

As for the topping (aka “roomal”), it’s simply a combination of flour, water and baking soda that’s simmered for a few minutes to form a glaze and then brushed over the bread. 

This bread is fluffy and very simple to make. It's topped with sesame seeds.

Ingredients

All purpose flour

To make barbari, you need all purpose flour. You can also use half whole wheat and half all purpose flour if desired. 

Salt

You need 7 grams of salt for this recipe. This bread has a bit of a salty taste so don’t skip the salt. It also helps with the texture of the bread. 

Sugar

To activate the instant yeast, you need some sugar. You can simply use granulated sugar. 

Instant yeast

Make sure the yeast you use is not expired or old. Instant yeast works very well. You can also use active dry yeast, which should be dissolved in the water you’ll use for this recipe. 

Butter

You only need 15 grams of butter which is roughly one tablespoon. This bread doesn’t call for much fat but is still very tender and soft. 

Preparation instructions

Make the dough 

Place flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Start mixing on low speed and slowly add in the water. Keep mixing until the dough comes together. Turn the speed to medium and keep mixing for 10 minutes until the dough starts coming off the bowl and not sticky anymore. 

Turn the mixer off, lift the dough hook and remove the dough from the hook. Place it in the mixer bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

Divide and rest

After 10 minutes, place the dough on your working surface. Divide the dough in half and gently form into two balls. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough sit for another 30 minutes to rise. 

Make the topping

Mix flour and water in a small saucepan. Add baking soda and bring to simmer. Cook for a few minutes until it thickens a bit. Set it aside and let it cool. 

Form the dough

After 30 minutes, it’s time to shape the dough. Place one of the balls on parchment paper. Flatten the dough using your hand into an oval shape. Using your fingers (but not thumbs) make indentations on the bread. Brush with the glaze and top with sesame seeds. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for another 30 minutes. 

Bake in the oven

Preheat the oven to 440°F and uncover the breads. Wet your fingers a bit and make the indentations in the breads again. Once the oven is hot, bake the barbari in the oven for about 18 minutes until the top is golden. 

two loaves of Persian flatbread cooked in the oven.

Serving suggestions

Nothing beats warm barbari with some cheese, walnuts, cucumber and tomatoes for breakfast. You can also serve it alongside kotlet (Persian meat patties), kuku sibzamini (Persian potato patties) or kuku sabzi (Persian herb frittata) for a complete meal or as an appetizer with some kashke bademjan (Persian eggplant dip)

Notes and tips

  • Traditional barbari uses the glaze mentioned in the recipe. However, you can simply whisk an egg and brush that over the dough. 
  • Store the bread in a gallon size resealable bag for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in a toaster or microwave. 
  • With this recipe you can make two large barbari breads or four small ones. 
  • If you have a kitchen scale, don’t forget to use it when making bread. Otherwise, make sure you’re measuring everything carefully. 
  • If you don’t own a stand mixer, you can simply mix everything with your hands and then knead for 10 minutes until the dough is not sticky anymore.
Nan barbari is a classic Persian bread that’s easy to make. With a nice crust and soft inside, this bread is a Persian classic that everyone loves. Barbari is easy to make and goes perfectly with some cheese and walnuts! #Persianrecipes #Persianfood #Breadrecipes #Easybreadrecipes

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4.78 from 74 votes

Easy Persian Barbari Bread

Nan barbari is a classic Persian bread that’s easy to make. With a nice crust and soft inside, this recipe results in a tasty homemade bread suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
rising: 1 hour
Servings: 2 breads
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Ingredients 

  • 500 gr All purpose flour, (4 cups)
  • 7 gr salt, (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 5 gr granulated sugar, (1 tsp)
  • 15 gr unsalted butter, (1 tbsp)
  • 7 gr instant yeast, (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 320 ml warm water, (1 1/3 cup)

Glaze

  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions 

  • Place the flour ,salt, sugar, butter and yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook.
  • Turn the stand mixer on and set it on slow speed. Add the water slowly while the mixer is running.
  • Once the dough comes together, turn the speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes.
  • The dough will come together and will not be too sticky. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough on a floured surface and divide it into two. Shape into balls and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients in a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and bring it to simmer. Keep stirring until it thickens. This would take about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • After 30 minutes, Place one of the balls on parchment paper. Flatten the dough using your hand into an oval shape. Using your finger (except the thumbs) make indentations on the bread. Brush with the glaze and top with sesame seeds. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for another 30 minutes.
  • Turn the oven on and preheat to 440°F. Once the oven is hot, uncover the baking sheet and place the bread in the oven. Bake for 18 minutes until golden and cooked. Let it sit for 10 minutes before you slice it.

Video

Notes

  •  You can serve barbari alongside kotlet (Persian meat patties), kuku sibzamini (Persian potato patties) or kuku sabzi (Persian herb frittata) for a complete meal or as an appetizer with some kashke bademjan (Persian eggplant dip)
  • Brbari is perfect for breakfast with some cheese, tomato, cucumber and walnuts. 
  • Traditional barbari uses the glaze mentioned in the recipe. However, you can simply whisk an egg and brush that over the dough. 
  • Store the bread in a gallon size resealable bag for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in a toaster or microwave. 
  • With this recipe you can make two large barbari breads or four small ones. 
  • If you have a kitchen scale, don’t forget to use it when making bread. Otherwise, make sure you’re measuring everything carefully. 
  • If you don’t own a stand mixer, you can simply mix everything with your hands and then knead for 10 minutes until the dough is not sticky anymore.

Nutrition

Calories: 985kcal | Carbohydrates: 195g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 1372mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 187IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 12mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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57 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this 2 times …. Once with whole wheat flour and butter – that was a bit dry but I am fairly sure I messed something up. Second time, made it with AP flour and olive oil…also added some pepper, salt and garlic flakes to the glaze and it was literally the most delicious thing ever. Stuffed my face at midnight lol.

    1. Happy to know you enjoyed the recipe. The one with whole wheat flour turned drier because of the type of flour you used. You can try half whole wheat and half all purpose, it’ll probably be better!

  2. Hi, this looks great. Roughly how thick is the bread after you’ve shaped it? I’ve never seen or eaten it, but it looks fabulous and am keen to try it.

  3. I’d love to try this recipe, but I don’t have a stand mixer (or room for one). Would it be possible to try to knead this by hand?

  4. My favorite bread in the morning was “sangakh”, The bread from the stones. We would buy it at a shop in Tajrish and eat it with cheese and soft boiled eggs for breakfast.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you Shadi! This one is really easy to follow. I’m going to make it with half of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe to make one bread. Wish me luck 😀