scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Proceedings ArticleDOI

Some Middle Eastern Breads, their Characteristics and their Production

TL;DR: In this article, the authors review major types of flat breads in the Middle East, and specifically discuss Iranian flatbreads, which 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.
Abstract: 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.

Summary (2 min read)

Introduction

  • 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).

Conclusion

  • 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.

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

Iowa State University
From the SelectedWorks of Kurt A. Rosentrater
June, 2010
Some Middle Eastern Breads, their Characteristics
and their Production
Shirin Pourafshar, South Dakota State University
Padmanaban Krishnan, South Dakota State University
Kurt A. Rosentrater, United States Department of Agriculture
Available at: h)ps://works.bepress.com/kurt_rosentrater/114/

1
\
An ASABE Meeting Presentation
Paper Number: 1008667
Some Middle Eastern Breads, their Characteristics and
their Production
Shirin Pourafshar
Graduate Research Assistant, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007.
Padmanaban Krishnan
Professor, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007.
Kurt A. Rosentrater, ASABE Member Engineer
Bioprocess Engineer, USDA, ARS, North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory,
Brookings, SD 57006.
Written for presentation at the
2010 ASABE Annual International Meeting
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 20-23, 2010
Abstract. 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

2
the nutritional and functional properties of traditional Middle Eastern breads, while at the same time preserving
taste and consumer acceptability.
Keywords. Barbari, Flat Breads, Iran, Lavash, Middle Eastern countries, Sangak, Taftoon.

3
Introduction
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.
Cereals are the most widely consumed food item in the Middle East, followed by fruits, vegetables, and
dairy products (Gran et al., 2006). There are different types of bread which are consumed in different
Middle Eastern countries. Each of these breads is made from different grain, thus the taste, texture, and
even aroma are different in each of these breads. Flat bread products have evolved to take many forms,
each based on different and distinctive characteristics. The character of flat breads depends heavily on the
formation of a gluten network (Rubenthaler and Faridi, 1981). 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). All flat breads, basically, have the same production
procedure. This includes mixing, proofing and baking. One of the important parts of production which is
different for different kinds of flat bread is flattening and sheeting of the dough. The way the dough is
flattened and shaped results in differences between flat breads. In Iran, for example there are four major
types of flat breads (Barbari, Lavash, Sangak and Taftoon), which are all different in shape.
Middle East has the highest dietary energy surplus of the developing countries. But there are still
problems with lack of food, especially in some of the Middle East countries. One of the countries which is
in extremely poor condition is Afghanistan, which has 40% malnutrition. The diet in Iran has improved a
lot but still the problem is the high dependence on bread as a major food especially among the lower
socioeconomic sectors. Despite the fact that Iran consists of an agrarian economy, there is a high degree
of malnutrition within the country. The peak of nutritional problems, in Iran is often in the second year of
life, and the average growth rate slows down after 6 months of age in many cases. Although over 80% of
the population is covered by an effective primary health care system, a nutritious food supplement is
needed (FAO, 2009). Since bread is the major food eaten in Middle Eastern countries and it is also the
cheapest source of food, adding value to bread is an ideal way to prevent malnutrition in these countries.
Thus the objectives of this article are to 1) review major types of breads eaten in Middle Eastern
countries, discuss their characteristics, and 2) discuss Iranian breads in depth. The information discussed
in here will be used to add value to these breads and improve their nutritional characteristics.
Middle Eastern Countries
The Middle East is a region that spans southwestern Asia and northern Africa (Figure 1); it has no clear
boundaries. The Middle East is where Africa, Asia and Europe meet. Opinions vary as to what countries

4
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. Some core countries are always included as part of the Middle East,
but there is disagreement about how far the region extends (http://www.w3.org). The following are those
countries that are most often considered Middle Eastern countries:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel,
Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen.
Figure 1. Geography of the Middle Eastern region (from http://mapoftheunitedstates.org, 2009).
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.

Citations
More filters
Proceedings ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2011
TL;DR: In this article, five different flours (Amaranth, barley, DDGS, rye and oat) were used as alternatives to wheat flour in production of Iranian traditional bread, Barbari.
Abstract: Since cereals and cereal-based products are a cheap source of energy, they are highly consumed in all of countries. Wheat is the major cereal, consumed in different food products, especially bread. Today, whole wheat flour is being consumed in most of the breads because of its nutrient components but still different problems are associated with this flour, such as allergies and loss of nutrient components due to milling and refining. Thus, to find different sources to fortify products made with wheat flour as their major ingredient, especially bread is important. In this study, five different flours (20% of each flour plus 80% of wheat flour) were used as alternatives to wheat flour in production of Iranian traditional bread, Barbari. These flours were amaranth, barley, DDGS, rye and oat. Proximate analyses were conducted in order to find out the moisture, fat, fiber, protein and ash content of each product. Also rheological tests were done to understand the change in the color, thickness and texture of final products. The results showed that the gluten content of each flour had significant effect on the texture and thickness of the bread. As for the color, it was shown that the bread made with rye flour had the highest L* value and the one made with oat flour had the highest a* value. As for the b* value, the highest was for the bread made with DDGS. As for the chemical properties of the breads, it was determined that bread made with 20% DDGS and 80% of wheat flour had the highest fiber and moisture content. The bread made with amaranth had the highest ash content, while the one made with rye had the highest protein and fat content. Overall, adding different flours to wheat flour can change the physical and chemical attributes of final product significantly.

1 citations


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)....

    [...]

References
More filters
Proceedings ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2010
TL;DR: The objectives of this study are to review the occurrence of global malnutrition, and to discuss potential solutions to this challenging problem.
Abstract: Malnutrition is a general term for medical conditions caused by an inadequate diet and poor nutrition. Hunger and malnutrition are among the major difficulties confronting many countries around the world. Malnutrition can be caused by several factors, such as the sharp increase in population (current world population is approximately 6,800,000,000), poor distribution of foods, lack of access to highly nutritious foods, and most important, lack of knowledge about healthy diets. Malnutrition can lead to other problems, such as reduced school attendance, learning capacity, spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and it can have a negative effect on a nation’s development. The objectives of this study are: 1) to review the occurrence of global malnutrition, and 2) to discuss potential solutions to this challenging problem. For example, over three billion people are affected with micronutrient malnutrition in the developing world. Lack of micronutrient components such as iodine, zinc, vitamin A and iron can lead to maternal mortality, diseases such as HIV, and other problems. Over 146 million children under five are underweight and children often die because of malnutrition. There are many challenges to overcome malnutrition, and to provide food security for people. UNICEF, WFS and other organizations are trying to help malnourished children by sending food aid, but this is not enough, and there are still many places in which food security does not exist. According to the FAO organization, food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious foods to meet their dietary needs. So, to develop and distribute nutritious, widely available, low cost foods, which can be consumed by many people around the world is of great importance.

2 citations

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