Some Middle Eastern Breads, their Characteristics and their Production
Summary (2 min read)
- Flat breads are very popular in Middle Eastern countries and they are a major source of dietary protein and fiber.
- Bread is a staple foodstuff, which is made and eaten in every the Middle Eastern country.
- Flat bread products have evolved to take many forms, each based on different and distinctive characteristics.
- There is a high degree of malnutrition within the country.
Middle Eastern Countries
- The Middle East is a region that spans southwestern Asia and northern Africa ; it has no clear boundaries.
- The Middle East is where Africa, Asia and Europe meet.
- Opinions vary as to what countries exactly make up the Middle East.
- Historically, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been associated with the Middle East, but in recent years, some sources now consider them to be more closely in Europe.
- The African country of Egypt is still thought to be in the Middle East, as well as northern African countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
Middle Eastern Breads
- There are many different types of breads in different Middle Eastern countries.
- These breads vary in ingredients, texture, shape and other characteristics.
- Table 1 summarizes some of these breads and their specific characteristics.
Usage and characteristics
- It is believed that baking of Sangak dates back to the era of Shah Abbas Safavi, who was the king of Iran during those days.
- Sangak bread is the second most popular bread in Iran after Barbari .
- That is why it is called Sangak, because “sang” in Farsi means “stone” and Sangak means “small stone”.
- Sangak is the only traditional bread which is baked on a semi direct flame in the oven.
- Sangak has a dark brown color, and it has a fresh special smell.
Methods of preparation
- After that the dough is left for about one hour to rest, this time can be 3.30 h during winter time.
- After that dough is stretched and the baker rolls them out until the thickness is 4- 6 mm.
- There are also two kinds of ovens for Taftoon bread; one is in the ground and the other into the wall.
Usage and Characteristics
- Taftoon used to be popular bread only in some parts of Iran such as Isfahan and Khuzestan, and then its production was modified to today’s Taftoon which is consumed by people all around Iran.
- This bread in some of the Arabic countries, such as Kuwait, is called “Tanoori”.
- This bread is thicker than Lavash but thinner than Sangak and Barbari.
- Taftoon has lots of bubbles on the surface just like Lavash.
- The more bubbles, the more desirable the bread is.
Other Types of Traditional Breads in Iran
- There are also other types of breads eaten by Iranian people, but they are not as popular as these four kinds of breads already discussed.
- These other breads are eaten in various parts of Iran, and they are very different in shape and taste.
- These other breads include: -Nan-e Shirmal: -Nan-e Gandhi: Sweet bread made like Taftoon, it is eaten during breakfast or with tea.
- They are breads with sweet smelling seeds on them.
Industrial and Traditional Breads
- A shift toward industrial bread production has occurred during the last few decades (http://www.technopokhht.com).
- Today, in large cities throughout much of the Middle East, most of the bakeries are now semi-mechanical, in which the dough preparation is done by hand and then the prepared dough is placed in tunnel ovens, which are very different from the previously explained ovens (i.e. those which are used in traditional bakeries).
- Thus unwanted chemical reactions, over cooking, and loss of nutrients is decreased (htt://www.hamseda.ir).
- Bread wastes decrease due to the even texture of the bread.
- Most people still prefer to consume traditionally made breads, which are prepared in the manner explained in this paper, because they believe that taste, texture, flavor and odor of these breads are distinctively better than those of industrial breads.
Fortification of Middle Eastern Breads
- All breads are nutritious, but some more so than others.
- On the other hand, an average slice of whole wheat bread has 69% of its calories from carbohydrate and 15% from fat (Dalgethy et al., 2006).
- Along with dietary fiber, β-Carotene can also be effective in reduction of this disease.
- Another component which has become important in bread is zinc.
- Thus, enrichment of breads with components such as fiber and protein can be a great step in solving many different kinds of problems in bread consumption (for more information on fortification of breads, refer to Pourafshar et al., 2010a).
- The objective of this study was to review traditional Middle Eastern breads.
- The ingredients used in these breads are basically the same; the differences among them are the amount of the ingredients, the way they are shaped, the temperature at which they are baked, etc.
- Adding protein, fiber, and/or other nutrients would help to reduce malnutrition in these countries.
- Thus, being acquainted with different kinds of traditional breads in the Middle East would help food scientists and engineers develop strategies about how best to enrich these foods.
- These improvements must be while simultaneously preserving taste, texture, and consumer acceptability.
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Cites background from "Some Middle Eastern Breads, their C..."
...One way to fortify bread products is to use alternative flours (Pourafshar et al, 2010a)....
...Barbari has a unique smell and the taste depending on the amount of sour dough and baking time (Pourafshar et al, 2010b)....
"Some Middle Eastern Breads, their C..." refers background in this paper
...While there are many different bread making processes, they have the common aim of converting wheat flour and other ingredients into a light, aerated and palatable food (Najafian et al, 2008)....
Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What have the authors contributed in "Some middle eastern breads, their characteristics and their production" ?
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. This study represents the first stage of a larger research agenda, which is aimed at enhancing both