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Bread in Iran: The Most Common Iranian Breads
Bread in Iran

Bread in Iran: The Most Common Iranian Breads 

Iran is an ancient country, and it is not surprising that baking bread has a long history in this land. As the most vital part of Iranian meals, bread has been inseparable from Persian life and culture. Iranian culture regard bread as something bounteous and bread in Iran is a venerable blessing. An increasingly wide variety of Iranian bread as healthy and nutritious food is prepared and consumed throughout the country; therefore, Iranian breads are obviously worth tasting, whereas Iranian drinks, Iranian desserts, and Iranian sweets. In the following, you will read about the history of bread in Iran and different types of Iranian bread.

The History of Bread in Iran:

Bread is the most significant wheat-based foodstuff produced throughout the world, and it is also the most popular product that is consumed in Iran. But what is Persian bread called? Bread in Persian is called Naan [nân]. Persian naan has been mentioned in the Sassanid inscriptions of the 3rd century, proving that Iranian breads were baked and consumed since that period. Some Iranian bread, such as Lavash, is originally Iran bread; however, some other Iranian bread types, including Barbari, have been brought to Iran by the neighboring countries. It is worth mentioning that one of the oldest bakeries of Tehran, dating back to the Qajar period (19th century), is located in Luti Saleh Passage, near Tehran Grand Bazaar.

Tanoor, Iranian Bread Oven, Sangak Tanoor, Bread in Iran
Sangak Stone-Covered Clay (Tanoor)

Iranian Bread Oven and Ingredients:

The majority of Persian breads are produced by the most common Iranian flour bread, such as wheat flour, barley flour, and white flour combining with water, oil, salt, and yeast dough. Iranian sweet bread will take some added sugar, and some types of Persian bread are flavored with sesame seeds, black seeds, dried herbs, or caraway. The Iranian bread oven is a clay-made oven called tanoor (tandoor).

Types of Bread in Iran:

Varieties of bread in Iran are high, and it is used with almost every Persian dish. Many types of Iranian bread have many advocates all around the world. So, here we will take a look at various types of bread in Iran and their specifications.
Due to the wide variety of products and people’s tastes, different types of Iranian bread may be baked throughout the country. Persian breads might be categorized in different ways. Some Iranian bread is known by flour, such as wheat-based bread, barley-based bread, rice-based bread, etc. Persian naan can also be categorized by size and volume: Iranian flatbread or raised and semi-raised bread. The method of cooking is also spotted in categorizing Iran bread. For example, some types of Iranian bread are oven-baked, and some are hot-stoned-baked. Flavors added to the primary ingredients will make new Iranian bread types, such as Persian sesame bread, potato bread, vegetable bread, etc. The texture is also considered in categorizing types of Persian bread: doughy, soft, crispy, brittle, dry.

Some Iranian bread types are commonly baked and used in all urban and rural areas of the country. Sangak bread, Barbari, Taftoon, and Lavash are the most popular Iranian breads, consumed all over the country. You might have heard some of these Iranian bread names. Iran local bread is prepared and consumed in specific regions, or by ethnic groups. For example, Mashhadi bread is baked in Khorasan province, or Lako is the Caspian Sea coast local bread. Hundreds of types of Persian naan are Iran local bread.

Sangak Bread, Dizi, Iranian Bread, Bread in Iran, Persian Naan
Sangak Bread with Dizi

As a traditional Iranian type of bread, Sangak is the most tasteful and suitable bread, accompanying traditional Iranian cuisines, such as Dizi, Kebab, and Abgoosht.

Sangak Bread:

Sangak, (Sangak pronunciation is /sængæk/) a thin and flat Persian naan, is one of the most original and popular Iranian breads. Historical documents prove that the bread was probably invented in the Safavid dynasty. Being also popular in Azerbaijan, this Iranian flatbread is baked on a bed of hot pebbles (sang in Persian) in a traditional bread oven. Industrial ovens are applied nowadays in some bakeries; however, the quality of bread baked in them is not as good as those baked in traditional ovens.

Sangak Bread, Iranian Bread, Persian Breads, Bread in Iran
Sangak Bread

Is Sangak bread healthy? Sangak is the healthiest bread in Iran because it is baked with whole wheat flour. The bran available in this Iranian flour bread is perfectly nutritional, and the bread is good for people with diabetes. Sangak bread is usually topped with sesame seeds (sometimes on both sides), and it is suitable for breakfast and other meals. While taking an Iran food tour, do not forget to have Sangak bread with Kebab and Abgoosht!

Barbari Bread, Iranian Bread, Bread in Iran, Persian Naan
Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread:

Barbari Bread was brought to Tehran during the Qajar period by Barbars, an ethnic group indigenous to northeastern Iran that borders Afghanistan. Barbari is the thickest Iranian flatbread with approximately 70 centimeters long and about 20-25 centimeters wide. This Iranian bread is usually baked with refined flour, baked plain, and topped with sesame seeds with a crisp crust and light airy texture. Among all Persian breads, Barbari is not suitable for those on a diet or people suffering from digestive diseases. A piece of fresh Barbari with a little butter, jam, or honey will make a perfect breakfast.

Lavash Bread, Iranian Bread, Bread in Iran
Lavash Bread

Lavash Bread:

With 2 millimeters thickness, Lavash is the thinnest bread in Iran. It is sold in packages and ordered in a large number due to its low weight and thinness. Lavash is a soft Iranian flatbread that is baked in a clay oven, rotary oven, baking machine, and traditional tanoor. It is one of the most widespread types of bread in Iran. As original Iranian bread, it is used with almost all types of Persian cuisines, except for watery and soupy foods (due to its low thickness). There is a tremendous variety in flavor and texture of this Iran bread. Persian Lavash bread varies in size and shape: circular or rectangular. The flour used in Lavash has no bran; however, its low price and high durability have made it one of the most popular Iranian breads; specifically in crowded and industrial cities. Referring to many supermarkets in the country, Lavash is the only option you will find. Other types of breads have to be used within a short time; therefore, they cannot be packed and sold in stores.

Taftoon Bread, Bread in Iran, Iranian Breads, Persian Naan
Taftoon Bread

Taftoon Bread:

What is Taftoon bread? Similar to Barbari bread Iran, Taftoon is one of the most popular Persian breads. However, unlike Barbari, there is no baking soda used in this bread. The Iranian bread name Taftoon (or Taftun) comes from the Persian word that means heating or burning. As one of the oldest Iranian breads, Taftoon is mentioned in Shahnameh by Ferdowsi. In the past, the only way of making Taftoon was the baking of bread dough in a clay oven; however, the baking of Taftoon in a rotary oven or baking machine has been common in recent years. Meanwhile, dried or fresh vegetables, nutrient seeds, or other additives are used in baking Taftoon in some regions. Some of the nomads and villagers also bake the bread in furnaces located under the ground. These types of Taftoon bread are known as Zanjani or Azeri. Do not forget to try Lavash or Taftoon wrap kebab, while being on an Iran food tour!

Other Popular Iranian Breads:

Some other types of common Iranian breads are:
Mashhadi Bread: This bread can be used as a snack because of its low dimensions and weight. As an Iran local bread of Khorasan province, it is baked in various shapes, with wheat flour. Mashhadi bread is a specific form of Taftoon and sometimes aromatic vegetables are sprinkled on it.

Shirmal Bread, Iranian Bread, Bread in Iran
Shirmal Bread

Shirmal Bread alone or accompanying butter or milk is considered a delicious full meal.

Shirmal Bread: In this Iranian sweet bread, a great amount of sugar and milk is used in addition to flour, oil, butter, and egg. Shirmal is produced in various shapes, including circular, oval, and other decorative shapes. This bread alone or accompanying butter or milk, can be used as a full meal.
Naan-e Jow (Barley Bread): It is baked with barley-based flour. Although barley is cheaper that wheat in Iran, barley bread is more expensive than wheat bread, due to low production of barley breads in the bakeries.
Naan-e Sabzijat (Vegetable Bread): The required vegetables for baking of this type of bread often include parsley, dill, and tarragon.
Naan-e Sandvichi: Being used as sandwich bread, it is similar to baguette bread.
Naan-e Sibzamini (Potato Bread): This bread alone can be used as a meal.

The list of popular Iranian bread is an endless one! Rye bread or buckwheat, din and cumin bread, date bread, gingerbread, Persian sesame bread, and various types of local breads such as Khorasani, Tiri Bakhtiari, traditional Baluchi, Borsagh or Kermanshahi, etc., are among the most delicious breads in Iran.

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