Bread plays a significant role in Iranian cuisine, and various types of bread are available throughout the country. Iranian bread is prized for its unique taste and texture and is a staple food in many households.
In this article, we will explore the different types of bread in Iran and their role in Iranian culture. Stay with Iran Travel Guide Center to explore more about Iranian bread.
Popular Kinds of Bread in Iran
Barbari Bread (nân-e barbari)
Barbari bread is a traditional flatbread that is popular in Iran. It is made from flour, water, yeast, and salt and baked in a hot oven. The bread is typically sprinkled with sesame seeds before baking, which gives it a distinctive flavor. Barbari bread is usually served for breakfast. It is a popular Iranian bread that has become a staple food in households nationwide.
The name of this bread is derived from the name of the Barbar (Hazara) tribe that lived on the border between Iran and Afghanistan. In the late Qajar period, a few Barbars began baking this bread in Tehran and popularized it. This bread’s unique taste and aroma come from using a combination of water and a small amount of dough, which is rubbed onto the bread dough by the baker before baking.
Sangak Bread (nân-e sangak)
Sangak bread is another popular Iranian bread. It is made from whole wheat flour, water, and salt and baked on a bed of small stones in a hot oven. The bread has a chewy texture and a slightly sour taste, which makes it perfect for soaking up sauces and gravies.
There are many traditional dishes typically served with Sangak bread in Iranian cuisine. One popular dish, “Chelo Kabab,” consists of grilled meat (usually lamb or chicken) served with rice and grilled tomatoes. Others are such as Ghormeh Sabzi and Fesenjan. This bread is suitable for all kinds of Iranian dishes served with bread, such as Kashk-e Badenjan (eggplant & curd).
One theory about the history of Sangak bread suggests that it was prevalent in Iran before the advent of Islam. After an illness of one of the Sassanid kings, a physician ordered the preparation of bread baked on stones. The oldest cultural reference to Sangak bread dates back to 1062 AD, according to the definitive evidence provided by Borhan-e Ghate.
Taftan Bread (or Taftoon)
Taftoon bread is a type of flatbread that is popular in the southern regions of Iran. It is made from flour, water, and yeast and baked in a hot oven. The bread is usually served with grilled meats and vegetables or used to make sandwiches. Taftoon bread is a versatile Iranian bread that can be enjoyed in many ways.
The history of Taftoon bread dates back to ancient times. This bread has been baked in Iranian homes for centuries, and Taftoon bread is considered a homemade and rural bread.
Lavash bread is a thin, soft flatbread popular in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Armenia. It is made from flour, water, and salt and baked on a hot griddle or in a tandoor oven. The bread is often used to make wraps and sandwiches or served with dips and spreads. Lavash bread is a popular Iranian bread that many people across the country enjoy.
The word “Lavash” originates in Middle Persian (Pahlavi) language. However, some researchers believe that it originated from the Middle East, while others suggest that it belongs to the Sumerians. Some also consider Lavash bread to be Armenian and think it originated in Armenia, as it has been registered as a cultural and spiritual heritage of Armenia by UNESCO. After that, Iran applied for a joint heritage, which has been reported as an intangible cultural heritage of Iran. Moreover, it is said that the tradition of baking Lavash bread as a skill and culture has been transferred from Iran to neighboring countries. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey also have a similar traditions.
Sweet bread is a popular bread in Iran enjoyed as a snack or for breakfast. One of Iran’s most well-known sweet bread is Noon-e Shekari, made from flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. This bread has a cake-like texture and sweet taste, often served with tea or coffee.
Shirmal bread is a traditional Iranian bread known for its sweet taste and soft texture. It is a popular bread enjoyed throughout the country, especially during breakfast or as a snack. Shirmal bread is typically made with flour, sugar, milk, butter, and yeast. The dough is then shaped into small balls and flattened into a disc shape before being baked in a hot oven. The bread has a slightly sweet taste, with a soft and fluffy texture similar to a brioche.
Shirmal bread is often served with butter, honey, or jam and is a popular choice for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day. This bread is an important part of Iranian cuisine and culture and is enjoyed by people of all ages. All Iranian sweet bread is a delicious and important part of Iranian cuisine and culture.
Iranian bread is a crucial component of Iranian cuisine, and various types of bread are available throughout the country. From the chewy sourdough of Sangak bread to the sweet cake-like texture of Shirmal Bread, there is an Iranian bread to suit every taste.