I am afraid the invitation for this “holiday” does not involve free hotel accommodation, a bargain aeroplane ticket, nor does it explains how to fly a magic carpet to travel. It simply encourages the reader to create (or re-create) an Eastern flavour that can transport the taste buds around the globe. Nan-e Barbari is a popular Persian flatbread. It is often eaten with salty soft cheese such as feta with herbs (sabzi) or jam and a cup of tea for breakfast.
Barbari means “of or related to Barbars” in Persian. Barbars are a group of people living in Khorasan near eastern borders of Iran. According to Dehkhoda Dictionary of Persian Language, barbari bread was baked by the Barbar people and was brought to Tehran. This type of bread is perhaps the most common style baked in Iran. It is served in many restaurants.
385 ml bread flour
178 ml water
1 tsp baking powder
18 g active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
cornmeal (for bottom of pan), poppy seeds or sesame seeds
For the glaze
160 ml water
Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in 1/2 c water, let sit a few minutes to proof (foam). Mix bread flour, baking powder and salt together. Make a well in the flour, and slowly incorporate the yeast mixture, and then the remaining 1 cup of water. Knead 15 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 2 round pieces. Sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal, transfer the dough to it. Lightly cover and place in a warm place until doubled in bulk (~1.5 hours). Meanwhile, bring the glaze ingredients to a boil, let cool. Brush lightly over the dough. Now for the tricky part! Dip your fingers into the glaze, and punch the dough down with the edges of your hands to form several long parallel ridges along the dough. Brush the dough with the glaze again, sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Preheat oven to 375°F. Carefully stretch the dough lengthwise, until it is about 1/4-1/2″ thick. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden. The bread should be slightly flexible when done. If you overcook, it will turn out more like ciabatta– still good!