Nan-e-Barbari – Persian Bread

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I have been missing home, a lot, lately. That is one of the reasons why you are and will be seeing a lot of bread / Naan/ Indian bread related posts on Spiceroots. There is something in those not so distant mountains that I see from my kitchen window that speaks of home to me. Its almost hypnotic. How they change from the time the first rays of sun touch them to the time the sun hides behind them almost feels like a conversation. I do feel very blessed to live in Colorado. It feels like home and yet makes me miss home. Ironic. I know.

I chanced upon this bread in the latest issue of Food and Wine and immediately knew I will make it soon. I leafed through the magazine to get my daily dose of food porn, but I kept coming back to the pictures of this bread.

There was an instant connection, almost a pull. Something about the bread was familiar. When I read the recipe, I knew what the connection was. The Bread uses a roomal – mixture of flour, water , oil & sugar for that exquisite color and texture. And that is what the local Kandur ( bread maker) in Kashmir uses when he is making the special breads with rogan – very similar to roomal.

 So I kept the magazine down and set to work. This bread had to be made and made immediately. The whole process of making this bread was nostalgic. And I am glad to say the Nan-e-Barbari has reached the coveted place of “myfavorite bread” in Miss S’s books! That is no mean feat!

This bread is also heading over to Yeast Spotting.

Nan-e-Barbari – Persian Bread

Recipe slightly adapted from Food and Wine Magazine.
Servings 2 breads


To make the dough

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour Plus some more for kneading
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water

To make the Roomal

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar

Final touches:

  • 1 tbs Nigella seeds optional
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds optional

some extras:

  • 1 tsp oil


  1. Add the yeast to water and let it bubble up.. about 5 minutes
  2. Mix the salt into the 4 cups of flour and add to the yeast mix.
  3. Knead to a very smooth dough ( 6 - 7 minutes in a stand mixer) ( If kneading by hand - knead until your dough can stand the window pane test ; If the dough is a little sticky, apply flour to your hands and keep kneading... )
  4. Oil a bowl and put the dough in it, cover and let it rise for an hour, until double in volume.
  5. Next punch the dough down and divide into two parts. cover and let it rise again.
  6. While the dough is rising this time, make the roomal.
  7. Combine the flour, oil , sugar, with half a cup of water and mix it all in and cook it on low heat until it thickens. cover and let it cool.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450*F.
  9. Working each part of the dough separately, shape the dough into a rectangle and put it on a well oiled baking sheet.
  10. Make the ridges in the shaped dough, apply half of the roomal paste, sprinkle half of the sesame, nigella on it and bake for 15- 18 minutes.
  11. Repeat wit the second part of the dough!

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