Sunday, July 11, 2010

Modern Baker- Armenian "Barbary "Bread

                                           Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it's flat."
                                                Carmen McRae, Jazz vocalist and pianist. (1920-1994)

I love bread. Bread... slathered with artery busting butter . Orgasm. My favorite breakfast is a slice of wheat toast with 2 slices of melted Munster cheese. Double orgasm. Funny thing is , I hardly ever bake bread. This is why I love Modern Bakers. It has forced me to use some yeast and muscles I forgot about.

My "official" post is this Armenian Bread, page 70 from Nick Malgieri's , The Modern Baker.

Basic Ingredients:

all purpose flour
whole wheat flour
active dry yeast 
warm water
olive oil
black sesame seeds

After mixed in Mixer with dough hook-resting  @20 mins

First proof- my antique pottery bowl:) @ 1-2 hours

Second proofs 
@ 1 hour

On a sheet pan dusted with cornmeal

Egg washed and seeded. Egg wash was not listed in recipe. I also made a homemade steamer

Dimpled  oval shape is traditional - Beautiful crust color! 

Braided -non traditional


If you have a difficult bread to shape and move . Wet the top of your kitchen counter . Then lay a thin piece of Saran wrap over top and dust with flour . The water will hold wrap in place so you can work with the dough without it sticking to the counter. Once bread is shaped Then you can lift with the saran and transfer to  baking sheet/stone.

Water, Saran dusted with flour

Tips from BAKEWISE, by Shirley O. Corriher 
A baking stone provides even heat and prevents burning on the bottom while allowing you to bake breads in the lower part of the oven away from the hot top, which can produce and early crust and hold bread down. 

Steaming: Steam actually needs to fill the oven before the bread is put in. Steam keeps the dough surface moist longer allowing it to rise longer and for better bread volume. Moisture on surface also dissolves sugar in dough that will produce a browner crust. ... 

A good Home Steamer :

Place a heavy metal pan ( 2 inch sides) at the bottom near the front  of the oven with about 4-5 stones in it. 1-2 inch smooth black stones from a landscape plants store . The stones hold heat longer and produces longer steaming. You need about one cup of boiling water to pour into steam bath pan. Pour boiling water. Close door briefly, then place bread in oven.    CAUTION! Use oven mitts  and watch  steam billows @face!

ps... from our Modern Moderator
gaaarp said...
Another caution on steaming: cover your oven glass with a towel when you add the water. If water hits the glass, it might shatter.

This bread is quick and delicious The dough is easy to handle ( not too sticky)  and easy shaping. I cut up  some extra and made croutons. They crisped up beautifully with some olive oil.

Բարի' ախորժակ: (Bari akh.orzh.ak)!


  1. Your breads are beautiful...I especially love the oval rustic and beckoning! I hope you do forge some cheese with us this month =)

  2. Looks great! The oval one is really striking.

    Another caution on steaming: cover your oven glass with a towel when you add the water. If water hits the glass, it might shatter.

  3. Gorgeous breads! Very inspiring.

  4. Wow! Look at you go! I love that you braided one of them, it's so pretty. Great tips too - I will use them when I tackle this bread. Great job!