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Some Middle Eastern Breads, their Characteristics and their Production

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008667.(doi:10.13031/2013.29689)
Authors:   Shirin Pourafshar, Padmanaban Krishnan, Kurt A Rosentrater
Keywords:   Barbari, Flat Breads, Iran, Lavash, Middle Eastern countries, Sangak, Taftoon.

In Middle Eastern countries, there are many traditional products which are made from wheat; bread is the most important one, and it is eaten with almost every kind of food. The goals of this study are to 1) in general, review major types of breads in the Middle East, and 2) specifically discuss Iranian breads. There are four major Iranian flat breads; all of these are fundamentally the same, and the dough in all of them consists of water, yeast, baking powder, and wheat flour, but they also have some ingredients which are specific to each product. The first of these breads is Barbari, which is thick and oval shaped. Barbari is baked in a curved oven whose interior is covered with bricks. The second type is Lavash, which is thin, flaky and round. Lavash can be found in other Middle East countries as well. The third is Sangak, which is triangle shaped; it can be very large in size. Sangak is baked in an oven which is covered with small stones. This bread is often topped with poppy or sesame seeds. The fourth bread is Taftoon, which is thin, but it is thicker than Lavash. It is also soft and round. Additionally, there are other kinds of breads in Iran, such as Shirmal, Ghandi and Tiri, but they are not as popular. This study represents the first stage of a larger research agenda, which is aimed at enhancing both the nutritional and functional properties of traditional Middle Eastern breads, while at the same time preserving taste and consumer acceptability.

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