There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Okay, I’m not so little any more. But Mum always told me that Longfellow’s poem was written specifically about me….
Because the summer has been so hot, in our attempts to not be cranky that people are misusing their AC units by keeping their houses ridiculously cold, we have been embracing our barbecue to make naan. Suddenly, as we realized that we had a.) run out of yoghurt and b.) the milk in the fridge had gone sour (again!!) because of the excessive heat and humidity, we remembered reading about making Iranian bread. It doesn’t call for anything but flour, salt, and water. (We loved Barbari Bread whenever we make it!) We reminded ourselves by looking inside Naomi Duguid’s lovely “Taste of Persia” again:
There’s a kind of reverence surrounding two of the breads of Iran. One is the classic breakfast bread called barbari, with a ridged browned top, and the other is sangak, the chewy, textured “pebble bread” that most often accompanies lunch and supper. […] The traditional oven of a sangak bakery has a tall, narrow opening and inside the cavern of the oven is a wall of gravel sloping upward toward the back. Sang means stone or pebble in Persian, so sangak refers to bread baked on a bed of stones. […] It’s possible to make reasonable versions of both sangak and barbari in a home oven if you have a baking stone and, for making sangak, a supply of small stones […] If you have a starter going, use it rather than the yeast and lengthen the proofing times as necessary.
– Naomi Duguid, “Bread in Iran”, Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan, p.258
Since childhood, we’ve known about stone soup. But Stone bread? We neeeeeeded to try Stone Bread! (continue reading )