Nan- e- Barbari (Persian Flat bread)

A few years ago we watched a very cute Iranian movie on Netflix called 'Children of Heaven' by well known director Majid Majidi. If you get a chance watch it with your children. In it there is a scene where the little boy picks up flat bread from a local bakery. That foot long flat bread looked like Indian naan only bigger and with grooves.

On digging deeper I found out the name of the flat bread - Nan-e-Barbari. The bread is Persian in origin and it is nothing like the Indian naan. The bread is leavened with yeast but an interesting addition is a Romal or covering of a glaze made out of baking soda over the top. This gives the crust a lovely color and texture.

I have wanted to try this bread for the longest time. This week I finally got the chance. I made the loaves close to a foot long but nowhere near the three feet you see in stores and pictures. While I read a lot of recipes and collected hints from all over the place I adapted the recipe for this bread mainly from here.

You will need
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. thick maple syrup
1 1/4 oz. Fleischmann instant yeast packet
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

For the glaze
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. flour

1 tsp. nigella seeds to sprinkle on the top

In a mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix in the maple syrup and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. This creates the sponge.

Sift the flours, baking powder and salt. Add them to the sponge a little at a time. The dough will be sticky. Knead it for a few minutes in the bowl and then transfer to a floured working surface. The dough is kneaded using the whacking method. Holding on to the dough by one end  raise your hand pulling the dough with you and whack it on the working surface. Fold it in half away from you and release. Grab the perpendicular end of the dough and repeat. When needed use a dough scrapper to release the sticky dough from the board. Do not use additional flour.

You will notice a different in texture as the dough turns from sticky to smooth and elastic. As you continue the dough will look and feel softer. After 5-8 minutes shape the dough into a ball and place in a clean oiled mixing bowl. Cover and allow it to rise to double its volume, should take about an hour.

Prepare the glaze by whisking all the ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring the solution to a boil and allow it to thicken for about 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow it to cool completely. Transfer the risen dough to a working surface and divide into two portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place each in a separate bowl and allow to rise for an hour. Transfer one of the balls of dough to a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Cover the dough with the glaze and press it down to form an oval. With you fingers form the grooves. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and brush the glaze all over the top. Repeat for the other ball of dough.

Cover and let the shaped naan rest for 45 minutes. The naan will rise a little. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is a golden brown.


This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #38 for the theme Naan.


  1. Very interesting and super soft persian naan :) Looks fabulous !!

  2. That's awesome Varada, so good of you to experiment a new one for us...really enjoyed reading about the recipe and yes will check out if I get that movie..:)

  3. Glaze sounds new for me.. Persian Naan looks fabulous and my kind of bread definitely.

  4. ahh, same pinch varada, i too have made them for BM!!! :) Looks amazing!!!

  5. Naan looks super delicious!yumm..

  6. This sounds interesting and sure will try this one

  7. Interesting naan.. Would love to try it.

  8. Sounds interesting. Must try some time. Thanks for sharing

  9. Very new to me but have tasted similar one in Hyderabad but don't remember the name of it

  10. Can we get this naan anywhere in Hyderabad?

    1. Never been to Hyderabad so I have no idea. But it is easy to make.


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