So… it got cooler, right around 10pm, so I kinda couldn’t stop thinking about the lovely Barbari bread recipe, lonely, calling out to me….it seemed like a pretty quick recipe to tackle, only 2 hours from start to finish, so I went for it! Thanks for the inspiration goes to Jessamyn Rodriguez and the awesome bakers at the Hot Bread Kitchen. https://hotbreadkitchen.org/
This recipe has a lot of history behind it, but since there are several folks who have already written wonderful articles about it I will include one of them below, please take a look, there is some fascinating stuff there!
While you’re there check out “The Fresh Loaf”, it’s such an amazing resource of information for artisan bakers, take a look at their huge list of older articles, you will end up spending much time here, and being inspired to create great breads. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/
Being the armchair historian that I am, I just bake the breads. My dream is to travel from country to country, exploring local breads and cheeses and learning how to make them, I imagine life isn’t long enough to accomplish this but it sure is high on my priority list!
The bread is spread with a flour paste prior to baking that seals in the moisture, much like the tangzhong I use when I make the lovely Hokkaido Milk bread, it’s just a roux of flour and water that keeps the bread fresher for a longer period of time. I find it fascinating that both Persia and Japan came to the same conclusion, possibly hundreds of years apart, how amazing is that.
The process to create the beautiful ridges is quite simple, just press down with your fingertips in a nice line, the poofy dough separates to create long lines, you add sesame and nigella seeds and voila, gorgeous bread.
I have waited for years to try this bread and it did not disappoint, it gets a little dry the second day so bake it right before your meal, or just eat it right out of the oven with a slice of feta cheese, heaven on a plate!
Make sure to get your copy of the wonderful baking book from the self titled “Hot Bread Kitchen”, this book is full of great ideas, I’m looking forward to trying the M’smen next!