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Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread
Recipe By: Lida

About this Recipe:

LidaLida: Perhaps the most famous and widely used bread in Iran, Barbari is a part of Iranian culture. A piece of Barbari with some feta cheese and a cup of tea form the traditional breakfast in Iran. The secret behind the golden color of Barbari and its unique smell is in the small amount of baking soda mixed with some water and used to brush Barbari before baking. This mix is called Romal in Iran which is specified as the sauce here.

Main Ingredients:

Bread Flour: 3+1/4 cups
Water: 1.5 cups
Active Dry Yeast: package or 2+1/4 tsp
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Cornmeal: or whole wheat flour
Poppy Seeds: or Sesame Seeds or Black Sesame Seeds (optional)

Sauce Ingredients:

Flour: 1 tsp
Baking Soda: 1 tsp
Water: 2/3 cups


1. If using bread machine, add all main ingredients in the order suggested by your bread machine manual and process to form the dough then skip to step 6. Otherwise start from step 2.

2. Dissolve yeast in 100 ml warm water and let it stand for 3 min.

3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.

4. Pour the yeast mixture and the rest of the water into the center of the flour and mix to dough.

5. Knead for 15 min or until dough becomes smooth and elastic.

6. Divide dough into 2 round pieces. Slightly sprinkle the baking sheet with cornmeal or whole wheat flour and transfer rolls to it. Cover and leave them in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.

7. Meanwhile mix all sauce ingredients and bring to boil. Let it cool down before using it.

8. Brush doughs with the sauce.

9. Dip your fingers in the sauce and punch down the doughs in the way shown in the right hand side pictures.

10. Brush doughs with the sauce one more time and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let them stand for 45 min.

11. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 F.

12. Pull the doughs with your hand as shown in the picture.

13. Bake them for 30 min or till golden.

Published on December 25, 2007
Last edited on July 14, 2009

Herbs & Spices in this Recipe:

Poppy Seed
Poppy Seed

Related Recipes:

Lavash Bread or Tandori Roti Recipe
Lavash Bread or Tandori Roti
Naan Bread Recipe
Naan Bread

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2 breads
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ready in
3+1/4 hours
Recipe by
75 Ratings
Average rating: 4.6

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread

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Comments: 91

Carla, Guest from: LA2008 Feb 03
the very best bread ever

Steve, Guest2008 Feb 19
Thanks. Quite a nice recipe

Tina, Guest2008 Apr 20
I used this recipe to make pizza crust, it was the best pizza crust ever!

Alireza Khodabakhshi, Guest from: Burnaby2008 Apr 25
I have tried several barbary recipes but this one beats them all hands down. Deliciouses persian bread, enjoy with feta cheese, parsley and walnut.

David, Guest from: USA2008 May 27
Forgot to mention to flatten the dough and to what thickness?

Somayyeh, Guest from: LA2008 Sep 06
Thank you so much ,I missed Barbari ! Try hot barbari with feta cheese and cucumber and tomato , Absoloutly Delicious. Do you have SANGAK recipe too?

Roro, Guest2008 Oct 09
Hey I was wondering how big the breads were

Navid, Member2008 Oct 09
They are about 50 cm by 20 cm each.

Roro, Guest2008 Oct 17
Thank you Navid!

Katie, Guest from: Australia2008 Oct 30
Aaaah, I'm so glad you put this recipe up! I enjoyed barbari bread so much when I was visiting Iran. It's delicious for breakfast spread with a soft cheese and honey.

Daveed, Guest2009 Jan 10
Average rating: 5
Hi Lida,Thanks for the recipe. I tried it and got a good bread. It looked like a real Barbari. Can you also include Sangak as well?

Mina, Guest from: Indonesia2009 Jan 17
Average rating: 5
Thank you Lida for this nice recipe.

Kim, Guest2009 Jan 30
Does bread flour just mean regular white flour?

Navid, Member2009 Jan 31
Bread flour is a high-gluten flour. This is perfect for baking bread since the end result will be chewier with more holes in it. You can certainly replace it with all purpose white flour but the end result may not be as glorious as you had hoped.

Asad, Member2009 Feb 24
Average rating: 5
It makes an original barbari. I just tried it.

Al Davitian, Guest from: Glendale, CA2009 May 05
Can you give directions for commercial production of 500 breads or more?

WE, Guest2009 May 11
Average rating: 5
I need some help/guidance: Where can I find a barbari bread machine? or What kind of molds are used to make the barbari bread? a lot people say they are all hand made but then many are mass produced at certain companies/stores. What is their process?

Navid, Member2009 May 11
As far as I know, this kind of barbari is still made by hand in Iran. The mass produced barbari just doesn't have the same taste nor texture.

Mohan, Guest from: Edmonton, Canada2009 Jun 01
Average rating: 4
Ts it posible to make this bread on BBQ or electric grill? Thanks

Adry, Guest from: Tx2009 Jul 01
Average rating: 5
Im from Argentina my husband from Iran I love to bake breads, w him I learned about persian food. Jezz he loves it. Now I know about barbari bread Thanks a lot:)

Pedram, Guest from: Vancouver2009 Jul 14
Average rating: 5
the tsp used in this recepie, does it mean tea spoon or table spoon ?thanks

Navid, Member2009 Jul 14
tsp is Tea spoon & tbsp is Table spoon

Vick, Guest from: Sydney2009 Aug 17
Hi LidaThank you for the nice recepi.I have a poblem.I made the bread .it looks lovely but the dough inside is very compact,it looks like slice bread dough while i remember barbare dough was very light as there was no dough inside.What did i do wrong?any suggestion?Thank you againVick

Anita, Guest2009 Sep 12
Average rating: 4
This recipe sounds great, but my first try was a failure:( How much cornmeal does this recipe require? No amount is mentioned above. Any Sangak or Taftoon bread recipe?

Al Davitian, Guest from: California, USA2009 Sep 15
Average rating: 5
Cups come in different shape and sizes. Wouldn?t it be better to use a measuring cup and use exact amounts? For this recipe one cup is equal how many milliliters?

Navid, Member2009 Sep 15
For Al Davitian: Cup means US Cup which is about 240 ml. For Anita about cornmeal: it should be enough to fill the surface of your baking sheet.

Alireza, Guest2009 Oct 01
Thanks for this wonderful recipe. The first time I visited this site and saw the nice picture of the Barbari, I found myself overtaken by a flood of memories of the last time I had perceived the scent of a true Barbari bread. I was still in trance caused through onslaught of picture of the bread, when I hit the word souce which immediately arose the horrible smell of the burned souce of my neighibor in my mempry. My senses were then not shocked? --- So please use some words like Soda Mix.

Monique, Guest from: Holland2009 Oct 07
Average rating: 5
Super! For once, within an hour I had a bread just like the photo!.. and it was gorgeous too, it was gone in one mealtime! My husband found it super as well!The sauce treats the crust so its golden/brown and gives it a special taste! A winner!

Nina, Guest2009 Oct 29
I love barbari bread, I tried this recipe but I was not successful. I had problem with the dough, it was so sticky and running. I couldn't even knead the dough, it was running on the bench!!!! What did I do wrong? I followed the recipe as directed, everything was exactly the same! my ingredients, my measurements,...so what was the problem?could you please help me?Thank you.

Navid, Member2009 Oct 29
Nina, a couple of things might have happened. If you use old flour that has absorbed water or if you don't use standard measuring cups, you may end up with runny or dry dough. If it's too runny, add 1 tbsp of flour at a time and knead until dough is smooth.

Amir HZ, Guest2009 Oct 31
Average rating: 5
I am a Turk, and I love it. the best kind of bread u can find in world. thanks for this recipe.

Nariman, Guest2009 Dec 01
How can I use this recipe for comercial or for Mare than 100 bread ? Thank you

Ed, Guest2010 Jan 02
Average rating: 5
thank you i loved it

RT, Guest2010 Jan 05
Average rating: 5
Hi, thankyou for sharing this recipe. It turned out great. I made a few more, and drove to our friends houses and surprised them with fresh baked barbai for breakfast, they enjoyed it a lot.Can you please give us a Sangak recipe too?

Baharak, Guest from: San Jose, CA2010 Jan 14
Average rating: 4
Thanks for the recipe. I tried it and the result was better than what I expected. Just the bottom of the bread was a little bit hard which I think I have to put the bread in upper part of the oven. thanks again.

Renate, Guest from: Whitehorse, Yukon2010 Feb 02
Average rating: 5
Thank you for a wonderful bread recipe! I made it to go with Hungarian gulyash - a match made in heaven!Can anyone tell me what Sangak is?

Baharak, Guest from: San Jose, CA2010 Feb 03
I made it for the second time. It is still a bit hard (me and my daughter couldn't eat the bread). what am I doing wrong? heeeeeelp please!

Renate, Guest from: Whitehorse, Yukon2010 Feb 03
Hello Baharak,in my experience with similar recipes there could be two problems: either the dough did not rise enough or the bread was left in the oven too long. A little hint - you could spray the bread with a some water while baking or you could also put some water in a bowl and put it in the oven while the bread is baking. But I guess the main issue is to take the bread out of the oven on time. Hope that helps and all the best for the next time! Renate

Farhad Abdolian, Guest from: Antibes, France2010 Feb 04
hSangak:ovenMade of brown flour, sangak is the most traditional bread in Iran.For fermenting the dough, the baker uses starter from the previous day?s batch. This replaces the use of yeast or baking powder bought from the store. After 1 to 2 hours of fermentation, the dough is stretched by experienced hands on a flat surface near an open oven.The oven is a dome shaped hole with a surface of pebbles and stones. That is where the name Sangak comes from: sang means stone....

فرهاد عبدلیان, Guest from: Antibes, France2010 Feb 07
Average rating: 2
I tried this but there are a lot of important issues missing in the ingredients, the amount of water and yeast is not proportional to the flour and my dough was watery and hard to handle.Don't know how other people managed to get this to work, but with the numbers in the list, NO WAY you can get a ball like in the pictures.The bread was edible but definitely not Babari.....

Shirin, Guest2010 Feb 10
i agree with you farhad!

Fatiha Mohamed, Guest from: Dubai2010 Feb 11
Average rating: 5
i`m Moroccan lady, i like some much this recipe, i will try it as soon as possible.thank you so much

Monjela, Guest2010 Feb 28
Average rating: 4
Loved it!

Marta, Guest from: Montgomery, Texas2010 Mar 05
Average rating: 5
Thank you so much. My husband said it is just like the bread he grew up on in Iran.

Mariam, Guest from: Sydney2010 Mar 13
Average rating: 4
does anyone have a recipe for the sangasari bread gulachoo?

Parastu, Guest from: Cincinnati2010 Mar 21
Average rating: 4
Thanks so much for the recipe. I tried it with all purpose flour, and as mentioned by some of other friends, my doe got so sticky and watery that I eventually ended up adding more and more flour. I'm pretty sure about the accuracy of my measuring cups and so my only guess is the different texture of bread flour and all purpose flour. My suggestion is to add one more cup flour to the doe in case of using all purpose.

Donna, Guest from: Tumwater WA2010 May 15
My barbari bread is rising. I'm making chello kabab (saffron rice with lamb and beef kababs), grilled onions and tomatoes, and yogurt dipping sauce. Celebrating birthdays today and the time I spent in Iran as an American kid before the revolution. This was my favorite Persian meal when I lived there.

Donna, Guest from: Tumwater WA2010 May 15
Average rating: 5
I made this today and it turned out as I remembered from Iran. I used fresh bread flour and kneaded the dough with my Kitchen Aid mixer. After about 10 minutes of that, I kneaded it by hand.

Simin, Guest from: USA2010 Jun 20
Average rating: 1
I was so excited to find a recipe for this bread in US but I think I need more explanation in step 5 and 6. I should confess I never made a bread before so maybe this adds to the problem. Mine was so hard to make it round as it is in the picture and so sticky and watery - even though I used the correct portions. should I knead it more than 15 min? :( any hint?

Mojgan, Guest from: Calgary, Canada2010 Aug 30
Average rating: 4
I just made this bread! It is scrumptious and brought lots of good memories back to me. My 4 and 6 yrs old tried this Iranian bread for the first time and loved it so much. Thank you so much for sharing this simple, yet great recipe.

Neda, Guest2010 Sep 04
Average rating: 1
are you supposed to use sugar in the yeast to make it proof? is there a step missing? the water for bread measurement is 1.5 fuid cups (i have both dry & wet measuring cups) yet you use 100 ml with the yeast - what to do with the other part of the water - is the remainder for the sauce? Because if it is, you would still be left with water. I tried this twice and it was a flop - sorry. ruined a very nice pan too!

Navid, Member2010 Sep 04
Neda, I don't understand your question. In step 4, it says pour the yeast mixture and the rest of the water into the center of flour. It clearly means use the whole 1.5 cups water to make the bread. Also, you can use the sugar in the yeast if you want. Your bread would be more fluffy. But you also have to increase the amount of salt.

Sofi, Guest from: NY2010 Sep 09
Does anybody know the recipe for non-e shirmal.I love to make it.ThanksSofi

Golha, Guest2010 Sep 19
Average rating: 5
Thank you so much Lida jan for the great recipe. I tried it with whole wheat flour and it tastes great. I just didn't get the golden color on top same as your beautiful picture. Should I add anything else into the topping sause?

Paula, Guest from: PA2010 Sep 21
Made this for my husband who has lived in Iran. Turned out perfect. Can't wait for him to try it!!

Robert, Guest from: The Netherlands2010 Sep 26
Average rating: 5
Thanks for an excellent recipe, Lida. A special thank you for the idea of using baking powder for a glaze. It should work perfectly, not unlike lye does for pretzels.One thing though, are you sure about the quantities? I'm trying to convert all this to metric measures; 3.25 cups of flour would be ca. 400 gram, and 1.5 cups of water ~ 350g. That would make batter rather than a dough, it would be impossible to knead. Can you help me out here?Kind regards, Robert

Leila, Guest2010 Oct 03
Average rating: 5
Could anyone tell me what proportional of the ingredients should I use if I want to make more of this delicious bread?

Dining Room Table, Guest from: United States2010 Oct 05
This looks like very nice bread! I am now thinking of nice alternatives for the sesame seeds although the sesame seeds are a perfect choice.

Alireza, Guest from: London2010 Oct 06
Average rating: 5
Does anybody know why the colour on my bread does not turn to golen? It turns to brown instead of golen.

Leila, Guest from: Toronto2010 Oct 30
Average rating: 4
The color of my bread is still white. Is there a tricky point for making that sauce that makes the color golden? I spread the sauce on the bread but the color is still white?

Navid, Guest2010 Nov 01
Leila, there is no trick. If you use baking soda in your sauce, the bread color becomes golden. Maybe your baking soda has expired or you are not using enough baking soda.

Nasser, Guest2010 Nov 08
Average rating: 5
I loved your recipe. It is perfect. Thank you

Janette, Guest from: London2011 Jan 03
Average rating: 5
although you can find the nann in many turkish shops , but is not the same look and taste as this one we learned from lady lida recipe,which is same as barbary in our country thanks to her.

Leroy Simpson, Guest2011 Jan 13
jah rasta blood claat man dis bread is cool man , great recipe for eat with jamaican jerk chicken

Jock Harrington, Guest from: London2011 Jan 13
great recipe, do you have the recipe for pakistani naan bread, it is so delicious aswell

Daud Ahmad, Guest from: Whitby.ca2011 Jan 17
Average rating: 5
I am going to try it .seems very athentick iranianbread.let me first try.

Daud Ahmad, Guest2011 Jan 18
yesterday I triedbarbari bread.walla very easy and sooo tasty.this is the first time I ever made a bread.even my wife became jealous.thanks daud

Zsuzsss, Guest from: Budapest2011 Jan 25
I'm living on Hungary and i have a persian boyfriend. I baked it for him today and he loved it. Thanks a lot :)))))))))))))))

Barbari Lover, Guest from: UK2011 Feb 04
Average rating: 4
I made this for the fist time, i really don't know what I have done wrong, but outside was perfect like a picture, but inside was hard , almost not eatable!!I did put a bowl of water inside the over and splashed some water during the baking! I am thinking mabe I did not kned the doe enough!! Does amount of salt would have anything to do with it? I didn't add too much salt!!I felt so embaressed infront of my girlfrind!! Help please

Donna, Guest from: Tumwater WA USA2011 Feb 11
Average rating: 5
I've made this recipe several times and each was perfect. I think the trick is to use FRESH bread flour, and putting a bowl or tray of water in the oven under the bread improves the texture. Also, watch the baking time closely. Altitude and diffferences in oven heat can make a difference.I made this bread with a chello kabab meal for friends including several teens not familar with Iranian food. They LOVED it!

Donna, Guest from: Tumwater WA USA2011 Feb 11
@Barbary Lover-Baking bread takes a little practice for everyone. I bake often, so my first effort at this bread turned out pretty well, and even better the several times I've made it since. Just keep practicing and you'll do just fine. This recipe is the best I've ever tried.

Thibi, Guest from: Polokwane, South Africa2011 Feb 14
Average rating: 5
HI Lida, thank you so much for this recipe. I'm going to try it today. Will let u know how it turns out. I love Barbari bread. It's the best bread in the world. Can't wait!!

Shabnem, Member2011 Mar 31
Is there a substitute for baking soda?

Dee, Guest2011 Apr 09
My bread came out sort of doughy- not welldone.How can I make it less doughy but crisp?I like to test of this barbari.Best,Dee

Montazer, Guest2011 Apr 10
Average rating: 5
thank you for your information.Barbari is the most delicious bread in Iran.

Elaheh, Guest from: Iran2011 Apr 23
Average rating: 3
well, dear friends , it seems that most of u have the same problem , there are some factors that you should remember:1. whole weat flour is not good for barbari2. in iran bakers use nool fllour which is equal to flour for english bread3. the amount of water denpends on your type of flour , don't use all the water , add it little by little tii the time you think is ok4. during baking put a bowl of water in oven5. practice make perfect

Daria, Guest2011 May 16
Average rating: 3
I made this bread two times. First-exactly as in the recepie and it smelled soda so strong! Second time I did without soda and it was much tastier ( for me). I'm not Iranian,but friend of mine has brought me barbari from Tehran last week and I haven't smelled any soda flavour from that loaf. Can anybody advise me- should soda be really used for smearing bread? - I'm talking now about usual barbari in Tehran

Azar, Guest2011 May 18
Average rating: 5
salam i ccok it ;it was wonderfull.

Lizzy, Guest2011 Jun 10
@Daria: the bad taste of baking soda .....Baking soda can react with other acids, such as vinegar, buttermilk, and lemon. If there isn't enough acid in the recipe to react to the soda, then the flavor can be affected badly, giving the off-taste you describe. Note: Baking powder already has the proper balance of soda and acids to neutralize each other. BTW the so called poppy seeds are black cumin seeds. (Black cumin might not everybody's taste, but it's more authentic.)

Bahman, Guest2011 Jul 13
Average rating: 5
I am just questioning, why persian don't make their bread small like Mexican tortilla, for easy bite size and no cutting. It looks a little odd to have a long bread (if you don't cut it before) on table and then have to tear it apart with hand.

Damon, Guest from: Canada2011 Aug 05
Average rating: 5
@Lizzy, baking soda tastes very differently when baked. It also doesn't always need any acid to produce gas. In high temperature, baking soda breaks down in to CO2 and other molecules. Also, the yellow trademark colour of barbari is due to baking soda. I have realized that its distinct flavour is due to the baking soda sauce as well.Also, the black seeds are not black cumin seeds. There is no cumin seed in persian bread. It's usually black sesame or something else called siah daneh

Mojgan, Guest2011 Sep 22
Average rating: 5
It was It was the best recipe ever

Bahram, Guest2011 Nov 20
Hi,I have some question can anyone reply ?Baking powder and yeast are rasing agents.Both do the same things in dough.Why in we should add both rasing agent to it?Can anyone provide people with conversion table of Cup to ml (for liguids)and other substaces .this conversion table would be very usefull speciall for the poeple outside the USA.IN europe we use metrice system in other to measure the liguids etc.Thanks for your barbari recieptGreeting from Holland

Jamjie, Guest2011 Nov 26
Average rating: 4
I really enjoyed this, thanks!

Ben K., Guest2011 Dec 04
Average rating: 5
I am using this recipe for the 4th time in a month and it makes excellent bread. My Persian friends love it! Thank you Lida.

Michael Shafran, Guest from: Sydney, Australia2012 Jun 07
Average rating: 4
Hi guys. The most authentic seeds, I believe are Nigella seeds, which look like black sesame seeds. I don't have them in my spice cabinet, so I'm using a mix of black and white sesame, but I'll be buying some Nigella seeds to try next time. Cheers, Michael from The Melting Pot

Melanie, Guest from: England2012 Jul 11
Average rating: 5
My mum is persian and it is hard to find this bread here. I made it and it turned out just like the real thing many thanks. I used a bread maker for the dough and it was fine.

Marysmeme, Member2012 Aug 01
Average rating: 5
cant wait to bake this bread. Loved it when we lived in Teheran back in the 70s. Our driver would bring fresh bread every morning. The kids loved it with peanut butter on it.

Daria, Guest from: Canada2012 Aug 13
Average rating: 5
Very good bread and I think everyone should try it.

Judy Jurgan, Guest from: West Chester, PA2012 Aug 25
Average rating: 5
I have purchased this bread at Corrado's in Clifton NJ several times and used it to make pizza! It makes the best pizza crust ever. I am delighted to find a recipe to make it and will try this in the near future.

Jinan, Guest2013 Mar 31
Hi,Thank you for this recipe , i tried it today and we ate it with bonjan borani it was really delicious, my husband and kids loved it . Jinane

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