Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Barberi, Breakfast Bread

Recently I included this bread in a blog post and some lovely people were interested in the recipe.  

This is amongst some of the easiest and tastiest bread I have made.  The loaves were soft, light and utterly delicious.  Toasted the next day and served with soup it may have even been slightly better!  Please let me know if you get a chance to try it for yourself.

This recipe is from the magnificent book Saraban: a chef's journey through Persia.

Barberi, Breakfast Bread

2 teaspoons dried yeast
500 ml warm water
750 g strong white flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
50 ml olive oil
fine polenta, for dusting
20 g unsalted butter, melted
sesame or nigella seed (optional)

Dissolve the yeast in 50 ml of the warm water and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes.  

Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and make a well in the centre.  Mix the oil with the remaining water and stir in the yeast mixture, then gradually work into the flour with your hands.  Knead on a slow speed for 10-15 minutes until smooth, shiny and elastic - add more tepid water if necessary.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.  Knock back the dough, then leave to prove for a further 20 minutes.  Halfway through the proving time, put a large, heavy baking tray into the oven for 10 minutes or until very hot.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knock back.  Divide into 6 portions and shape into oval balls.  Working with one piece of dough, stretch it it into a 30 cm long oval with your hands.  If it is easier, roll the dough out lightly with a rolling pin.  Scatter a little polenta over the base of the hot baking tray and transfer the stretched piece of dough.  Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to mark narrowly spaced parallel lines along the length of the dough.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the seeds of your choice.

Bake for 6-7 minutes, until slightly risen and a rich golden brown.  Transfer the cooked loaf to a wooden board and cover with a clean tea towel.

While the bread is baking, prepare the next loaf.  Continue with the remaining balls of dough.

Barberi bread is best eaten warm.  Alternatively, leave it to cool completely, then wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 1 month.  Thaw at room temperature and reheat in a warm oven.  

Today I am linking up with YeastSpotting.  


  1. Can't wait to try it. Looks light and lovely!


  2. thanks for the recipe jane..i'm looking forward to trying it..

  3. Thank-you for the recipe! I don't think I will get around to trying it today, I'll let you know how I go. We don't have a dough hook for our mix master (it's a rather old model), so I'll have to do something else. :) It'll be interesting to see how they turn out actually, because we grind our own flour and the whole wheat is so different from white flour. Can't wait to try them!
    Sarah x

  4. I haven't made bread in ages, but this looks wonderful. Call anything breakfast bread and I'm in:)

  5. Hello Jane, apologies I have missed your last few posts... we were away. This bread sounds really interesting!

  6. This sounds like Turkish bread, Jane, and I've never tried making it before. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Well I tried the recipe and it turned out really yummy, thank-you! We made a mushroom soup to have with it. We grilled the leftover bread in the morning, with melted cheese on top.
    Thank-you again for the recipe :-)

    Sarah xx

  8. Thank you for introducing me to this bread. You got me curious and I found this post that is very informative, if anyone wants to learn more about this unique bread;


Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane