taftan bread

traditional Iranian staple made with simple ingredients

prep: 40'
10 medium-sized flatbreads

Taftan is the name of a town in the south-eastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan. I remember standing in the queue at the bread shop watching the baker as he spread his dough on an oval pillow and threw it against the walls of the furnace. The most fascinating part was to watch the bubbles form when the bread touched the oven’s scalding hot walls.

ingredients

  • 350g (2 3⁄4 cups) plain flour
  • 150ml (1⁄2 cup) room- temperature yoghurt
  • 150ml (2⁄3 cup) milk heated to 48°C/ 120°F
  • 3.5g (1 tsp) dried yeast
  • 2g (1⁄2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2g (1 tsp) salt
  • a drizzle of vegetable oil to cook each flatbread

preparation

  • place all the ingredients other than the vegetable oil into a large bowl
  • mix well
  • rest at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • you want the dough to be sticky; it will be hard to handle but be mindful not to add too much flour or you will end up with tough, chewy flatbreads
  • flour your hands, the rolling pin and the surface
  • shape the dough into small balls
  • roll each one into a centimetre thick circle with the rolling pin
  • sing a knife, make small cuts in the dough - this will allow air to escape when cooking
  • shake off the excess flour - if you don’t, it will burn in the pan
  • lightly oil a hot, thick-bottomed pan
  • cook each dough on one side until small bubbles start to appear
  • flip and wait until the other side has browned slightly
  • wrap the breads in a kitchen towel as you go along to stop them from drying out

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