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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2013, 03:47:43 AM »
Below are the pictures of the barbari breads I baked yesterday. This time, I used fresh baker's yeast instead of sourdough culture. Here's the dough formula I used:

Setareh flour (datum point)
Water 68%
Salt: 2%
Fresh baker's yeast: 0.067%

My dough was fermented at room temperature for 11 + 5 hours. By the way, I managed to find pure wheat bran (for dusting the worktable), but they are too coarse; nonetheless, they did not negatively affect the bottom of the breads. Throughout the baking process, I maintained the temperature of the oven floor between 480 and 550°F. Good day!

Omid
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2013, 03:48:13 AM »
Continued . . .
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/


Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2013, 03:49:17 AM »
Round 1 continued . . .
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2013, 03:49:46 AM »
I baked three breads at a time. Here is round 2:
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2013, 03:50:36 AM »
I baked three breads at a time. Here is round 4:
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2013, 03:51:06 AM »
Continued . . .
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Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2013, 09:50:23 AM »
 Omid, thank you for posting your barbari dough formula
Bert,

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2013, 11:22:25 AM »
Omid,

Thank you for posting this great information! What a delicious-looking bread! I hope that you do not suffer from any "inferiority complex" when looking at those lo-o-o-o-ong Barbari breads they are making in Iran! I'm sure yours make up for it in taste! :-D

The roo-mal sauce --- does it give the top of the bread a taste along the lines of a soft pretzel? I remember when I made pretzels as a kid and I was really mad because my mom wouldn't let me buy lye to boil the pretzels in. I ended up using a baking soda bath instead and the results weren't that different in flavor from a regular pretzel as far as I can remember.

John K
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2013, 08:01:22 AM »
Omid, many thanks for posting your formula, as well as the info about the Barbari bread. One thing I found interesting was the roo-mal sauce, made of flour, water and baking soda.  I'm curious as to your thoughts about this sauce. I think it definitely helps maintain the characteristic lengthwise grooves, as well as serving as a medium for the seeds to better adhere - but as far as flavor, I'm not so sure.

Last night I prepared some barbari dough following your formula, with 70% hydration and 9% sourdough starter, and noticed that 7 hours after mixing, the dough doubled during a room temp bulk fermentation (at 71 degrees farenheit).  Since it was late last night I resorted to storing the dough in the refrigerator.  Look forward to baking some tonight.

Dear Johnny, the barbari sauce, roo-maal, is traditionally made of water and flour only, although there are a great many online recipes that call for baking soda. The Institute of Standards also endorses the use of water and flour as the sole ingredients for preparing the sauce. Furthermore, professional barbari bakers strongly advise against using baking soda in making the sauce because it can have adverse effect on formation of the top crust, in addition to vitiating the flavor. Moreover, under certain circumstances, baking soda can undesirably make the top crust dry, brittle, and flaky, and rubbery crumb may form below the top crust. According to one account that I have heard, non-professional bakers began adding baking soda to the sauce because it helps to stabilize the barbari grooves during baking, so that they would not be undone. Also, I have heard that the use of baking soda in the sauce began when some bakers who thought it would help oven spring when the dough is rushed or is not properly leavened.

In my experience, roo-maal plays an important role in terms of:

1. How the bread bakes,
2. Formation and texture of the top crust,
3. Coloration of the top crust, and
4. Formation of the crumb below the crust

Some Persian bakers compare the sauce to the varnish used in finishing a fine violin. To them, just as a bad varnish negatively impacts the sound of a fine violin, a bad roo-maal can likewise ruin a good barbari bread. Therefore, preparation of the sauce should not be taken lightly. There are really no fixed recipes for the sauce; it is all based on the feel and experience.

There are different ways of preparing the sauce, using water and flour only. Below are two common methods:

Method 1:
According to the Institute of Standards, the sauce is made by, first, making a very wet dough, using water and flour only. Next, boil some water in a pot, add the wet dough therein, and continuously stir, under low heat, until the dough becomes fluid and gelatinized in the water, giving the water a thicker consistency. Once the mixture reaches the proper consistency (not too thin and not too thick), remove the pot from heat and remove whatever dough clumps that might be left in the pot.

Method 2:
About an hour before baking your breads, bring a volume of water to the boiling point and then turn the heat very low. Using your fingers, start sprinkling flour a little at a time while continuously stirring the mixture with a whisk. Avoid formation of lumps in the mixture. Continue this process until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. It should not be too thick, not too thin either. At last, let the sauce fully cool down in room temperature. The sauce should be prepared about an hour prior to baking your breads. However, if you prepare a large volume of the sauce, then it may take more than an hour to fully cool down.

Some unorthodox barbari bakers in Iran use the first method, above, but they use a piece of the leavened barbari dough of the day instead of using a wet dough made out of water and flour only. Also, some non-traditional barbari bakers use either the first or second method, and add some date syrup to the mixture. Some even use milk and/or eggs. Again, as mentioned above, the traditionalists use only water and flour in making roo-maal, which takes some time to figure out the right balance between the water and flour in the mixture. By the way, how thick or thin the layer of sauce is on the surface of the dough matters.

How did your barbari bread turn out? Have a great day!

Omid
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 05:58:45 PM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2013, 08:18:58 AM »
The roo-mal sauce --- does it give the top of the bread a taste along the lines of a soft pretzel?

John K

Dear John, I do not know much about soft pretzels to make an evaluation. Unfortunately, I have had soft pretzels no more than one or two times, and that was at least twenty years ago. I need to find out a place where I can get some here in San Diego. Good day!
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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2013, 09:41:34 AM »
Thank you Omid for this very informative and interesting post.  We have a great Persian market near where I live in Irvine (Wholesome Choice) and they make barbari bread there. I have gotten it a couple of times, but I am always drawn back to the sangak bread, probably because it is constantly being baked fresh and there is nothing like that hot fresh sangak bread coming right out of the oven. You do have to wait in line for it, but that just increases the anticipation and deliciousness of the bread once you have it in your hands.  When you finally reach the front of the line, the baker asks if you want one or two (I limit myself to one but most people get two), places a long sheet of butcher paper on the counter, grabs a hot sangak straight from the oven,  sets it on the butcher paper, then folds the hot sangak loaf in thirds and hands it to you.  After I get the folded sangak I dutifully unfold it and lay it across my shopping cart (the sangak is so big that it easily spans the width of the cart) to let it dry out a bit in the open air.  I learned this technique from observing the knowledgeable Iranian shoppers who do this almost without fail.  Of course I can't help but tear off a few pieces of the hot, crusty bread as I shop for those delicious Persian cucumbers and other fresh, inexpensive produce.  What a pleasure it is to be able to have such a wonderful fresh bread baked just a couple of miles from my house!  I think I might go grab a loaf this morning, and maybe I'll get a barbari too while I'm at it! 

By the way (and somewhat off topic except that we are discussing great Persian food) a current obsession of my wife is Persian barley ash soup/stew (ash-e-jo). I purchased a serving of this delicious stew from the counter at Wholesome Choice and was just bowled over at the complex taste of the green herbs mixed with barley, chickpeas, and fava beans.  We've been making it pretty much non-stop since I brought some home a few weeks back.  My wife is intent upon perfecting her recipe, and I'm all for that since it is so delicious and healthful too. 

Anyway, thank you so much for your great, informative post on barbari bread.  I really enjoyed reading about barbari and watching the videos. It's a pity that the hour-long documentary is no longer available. 

Best regards,

TinRoof

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2013, 07:59:56 AM »
Thank you Omid for this very informative and interesting post.  We have a great Persian market near where I live in Irvine (Wholesome Choice) and they make barbari bread there. I have gotten it a couple of times, but I am always drawn back to the sangak bread, probably because it is constantly being baked fresh and there is nothing like that hot fresh sangak bread coming right out of the oven. You do have to wait in line for it, but that just increases the anticipation and deliciousness of the bread once you have it in your hands.  When you finally reach the front of the line, the baker asks if you want one or two (I limit myself to one but most people get two), places a long sheet of butcher paper on the counter, grabs a hot sangak straight from the oven,  sets it on the butcher paper, then folds the hot sangak loaf in thirds and hands it to you.  After I get the folded sangak I dutifully unfold it and lay it across my shopping cart (the sangak is so big that it easily spans the width of the cart) to let it dry out a bit in the open air.  I learned this technique from observing the knowledgeable Iranian shoppers who do this almost without fail.  Of course I can't help but tear off a few pieces of the hot, crusty bread as I shop for those delicious Persian cucumbers and other fresh, inexpensive produce.  What a pleasure it is to be able to have such a wonderful fresh bread baked just a couple of miles from my house!  I think I might go grab a loaf this morning, and maybe I'll get a barbari too while I'm at it! 

By the way (and somewhat off topic except that we are discussing great Persian food) a current obsession of my wife is Persian barley ash soup/stew (ash-e-jo). I purchased a serving of this delicious stew from the counter at Wholesome Choice and was just bowled over at the complex taste of the green herbs mixed with barley, chickpeas, and fava beans.  We've been making it pretty much non-stop since I brought some home a few weeks back.  My wife is intent upon perfecting her recipe, and I'm all for that since it is so delicious and healthful too. 

Anyway, thank you so much for your great, informative post on barbari bread.  I really enjoyed reading about barbari and watching the videos. It's a pity that the hour-long documentary is no longer available. 

Best regards,

TinRoof

Dear Tinroof, thank you for sharing your experience at Wholesome Choice. I have been there a couple of times, but never tried their barbari or sangak breads. Next time, I will definitely try them.

Do you know if they use sourdough culture in preparing the Sangak dough? Does the bread have the sourdough flavor? Sangak is strictly a sourdough flatbread. Nonetheless, so far none of the sangak bakeries that I have visited in the US use sourdough culture. Also, for obvious reasons, none of the US sangak bakeries are legally allowed to bake the flatbreads on a bed of river pebbles, which can produce much better results. The flat dough bakes and chars very differently when the hot pebbles (about 700-750°F) poke through the core of the dough. Please, see the second picture, below.

If you are interested, you can make sangak at home. All you need is a metal tray filled with river pebbles and your conventional gas/electric oven, in addition to the dough which you can prepare at home. The last picture, below, is a a homemade mini sangak. It is not mine. Have a great day!

Regards,
Omid
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 08:07:05 AM by Pizza Napoletana »
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Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2013, 06:31:47 PM »
Do you know if they use sourdough culture in preparing the Sangak dough?

Yes, they do use a sourdough. It's a very nice mild one but definitely there is a tang.  The dough they use is really a beautiful dough. Huge tubs of it. I don't have much basis for comparison but I would say that the sangak bread at Wholesome Choice is among the best sold in Orange County.  I've talked to a number of people waiting in line and they do come from far and wide to get that bread. And there is almost always a line on weekends. Not so much during the week.  Several of them have regaled me with the story of how each soldier would carry a stone with him for the oven to bake bread. 

Offline bigMoose

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2013, 08:30:36 PM »
tinroof, I made the (ash-e-jo) that you referenced for my wife today.  She loved it, and I did too!  Particularly the hint of mint.  I added 1/2 tsp of red pepper and doubled the amount of kidney beans and garbonzo beans to suit our taste.  Phenominal!  Would have liked to have had some of Omid's Barbari Bread to dip in it, seems like that would go together well.

Omid thank you for the detailed write up and the video links to the bakeries in Iran.  Really enjoyed watching how the men worked the dough.

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2013, 05:33:04 AM »
By the way (and somewhat off topic except that we are discussing great Persian food) a current obsession of my wife is Persian barley ash soup/stew (ash-e-jo). I purchased a serving of this delicious stew from the counter at Wholesome Choice and was just bowled over at the complex taste of the green herbs mixed with barley, chickpeas, and fava beans.  We've been making it pretty much non-stop since I brought some home a few weeks back.  My wife is intent upon perfecting her recipe, and I'm all for that since it is so delicious and healthful too.

tinroof, I made the (ash-e-jo) that you referenced for my wife today.  She loved it, and I did too!  Particularly the hint of mint.  I added 1/2 tsp of red pepper and doubled the amount of kidney beans and garbonzo beans to suit our taste.  Phenominal!  Would have liked to have had some of Omid's Barbari Bread to dip in it, seems like that would go together well.

Omid thank you for the detailed write up and the video links to the bakeries in Iran.  Really enjoyed watching how the men worked the dough.

Since you gentlemen enjoy ahs-e jo, you should also try ash-e reshteh, which is not significantly different than the former. The main difference is that ash-e reshteh has noodles instead of barley. All Persian grocery stores usually carry the specialized noodles and any other needed ingredients. There are plenty of recipes on the net. Here is one (http://www.persian-recipes.com/persianrecipes/2009/08/30/aashe-reshteh/) that my wife (born and raised in Kentucky) tried last week with limited success. Generally speaking, Iranians consider sangak—which is the queen of all Iranian breads—as the bread of choice to go with either ash-e jo or ash-e reshteh. Happy holidays!

Regards,
Omid
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2013, 05:33:33 AM »
Below are the pictures of the barbari breads I baked yesterday. Since I ran out of the Iranian flour (setareh), this time I used King Arthur all-purpose flour, which produced excellent results. (Last week, I used Bob's Red Mill unbleached white flour which produced unsatisfactory results. The breads came out too chewy.) Here's the dough formula I used:

King Arthur all-purpose flour (datum point)
Water 69%
Salt: 2%
Sourdough culture: 8%

My dough was fermented at room temperature for about 10 + 4 hours. Happy holidays, everyone!

Omid
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Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2013, 05:34:00 AM »
Continued . . .
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/

Offline Pizza Napoletana

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Re: Iranian Barbari Bread
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2013, 05:34:20 AM »
Continued . . .
Recipes make pizzas no more than sermons make saints!

http://pizzanapoletanismo.com/2011/09/27/a-philosophy-of-pizza-napoletanismo/


 

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