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BARBARI | نون بربری
Temperature: Preheated 500 F, Center rack
Yields: 3 loaves of Barbari
Prep Time: About 1 hour
Bake Time for each loaf: 10 minutes
You will need a stand mixer with a dough hook, a pizza stone, and a cutting board lined with parchment paper
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Persian
  • For The Dough
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water (divided)
  • 4 ¼ cups Bread flour for the dough plus ⅓ cup flour for the work surface
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • For The Glaze (roomal)
  • 1 tsp flour
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup boiling hot water
  • Garnish
  • 2-3 tsp white or black sesame seeds (I used a combination) for sprinkling over the Barbari
  1. Measure out 4 ¼ cups of flour into a bowl. Add 2 tsp kosher salt and stir briefly with a spoon to combine. Set aside.
  2. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer. Add 2 ¼ teaspoon yeast and ¾ teaspoon sugar to the bowl.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl heat 1 cup water for 25 seconds until lukewarm and add it to the mixing bowl. Use a spoon to gently stir the ingredients in the bowl 3-4 times. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap first, then cover it with a large kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. At this time place the pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat to 500 F.
  5. The yeast mixture will look puffed up on top and will be very frothy; if it does not get frothy, the yeast has expired and it is time to get fresh yeast before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
  6. Microwave another 1 cup of water for 25 seconds.
  7. Add half of the flour to the yeast mixture and use a sturdy spoon to mix it. Add the cup of lukewarm water and the rest of the flour. Keep mixing with the spoon until combined.
  8. Attach the mixing bowl to the stand mixer and set it up with the dough hook. With the mixer on medium low (it is #4 on my KitchnAid), beat the dough for 3 minutes until well combined and no dry flour is seen. The dough will be very sticky and that is normal, do not add any more flour. No extra kneading is necessary.
  9. Add all of the dough to a large clean bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap, then cover the whole thing with the large kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 25 minutes. The dough will rise to about twice the original volume.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the glaze: In a small nonstick skillet add ¼ cup cold water and 1 tsp flour. Use a spoon to completely break up the flour in the water. When you stop stirring the mixture separates and is not uniform. Add ¼ teaspoon baking soda and the ¼ cup hot water to the skillet and stir to combine. Place the skillet on medium low heat and keep stirring until the liquid gets very hot, and comes to a very slow boil. Continue stirring until the liquid is uniformly cloudy and slightly thickened. When you stop stirring the glaze should not separate. Remove the skillet from heat and set it aside on the counter; the glaze will thicken further as it cools.
  11. Sprinkle the work space with ⅓ cup flour. This is a very sticky dough and you will be using this flour to dust your hands and the top of the dough, it will Not get kneaded into the risen dough.
  12. Visually divide the dough inside the bowl into 3, then with floured hands separates one section (will be extremely sticky) and drop it onto the heavily floured surface and flour your hands more if needed. Gently roll the dough on the flour to make a ball that is covered with flour on all sides. Do not knead and don't handle the dough any more than you have to.
  13. Leave the floured ball of dough on the work space and repeat with the remaining dough and again visually take half of the remaining out and cover it in flour. Without covering, let the balls of dough sit for another 10 minutes on the work surface. The dough will rise further.
  14. On a floured part of the work surface without handling the dough too much, use your fingers to flatten one of the balls of dough into an oval shape, about 6 x 9 inches.
  15. Use your fingertips or the back of a spoon to evenly spread about 1 tablespoon of the glaze over the flattened dough.
  16. With fingers touching make several rows of deep indentations with your fingertips along the length of the dough. Then move your fingertip over the markings and make long deep grooves in the dough without tearing into it.
  17. Sprinkle ⅓ of the sesame seeds evenly over the dough and let it sit for 5 more minutes.
  18. Drape a 10 x 15 inch parchment paper over a cutting board or the back of a baking sheet. The dough is going to be very soft and might stick to the work surface, release both ends with a pastry cutter or a thin spatula. Use both hands and carefully lift it and while stretching it to a longer and thinner rectangle (about 6 x 14) transfer it to the parchment paper on the cutting board.
  19. Slide the dough and parchment paper onto the hot stone. Bake for 5 minutes, turn the parchment paper a half circle and bake for another 5 minutes, until it is golden brown.
  20. Use oven mittens to remove the Barbari from the oven and cool on a rack.
  21. While the first Barbari is baking, repeat the same process for shaping the second and later the third ball of dough as explained for the first loaf.
  22. When the bread is cool enough to handle, brush off the extra flour from the back of the Barbaries and cut them into pieces.
  23. This bread is at its best flavor and texture right out of the oven. Enjoy it with feta cheese, grapes, sliced cucumbers, walnuts, olives, or sabzi khordan. Don’t forget to brew some fresh Persian tea half hour before the bread is ready!!
  24. Let the extra pieces cool completely before storing them in a plastic bag.
Noon Barbari is best when enjoyed a few hours after baking, but if you need to store any extra bread, let it cool completely and store it in a plastic bag and close it tightly to keep the bread fresh for up to a day in the room temperature.
To Freeze Barbari: Wrap the cooled pieces in a heavy duty aluminum foil and place the foil it in a freezer safe bag. When ready to reheat, place the frozen bread pieces in a 400 F toaster oven for about 5 minutes, or in a preheated 400 F oven until it is heated through.
Recipe by Persian Mama at