Persian flat bread

Sabrina Ghayour's Persian flat bread has a lovely, pillowy texture and a nutty flavour from the nigella seeds
By Sabrina Ghayour
Persian flat bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 2 loaves
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 4 hours rising time
  • Effort: medium


  • 7 g fast action dried yeast
  • 700 g strong white bread flour
  • 2 heaped tbsp Maldon sea salt, crushed
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 50 g salted butter
  • a handful of nigella seeds, or sesame seeds

Tips and Suggestions

Serve the flat bread with a pistachio and feta dip


1. Dissolve the yeast in 50ml warm water, stir vigorously and then leave it to sit for a few minutes until fully dissolved.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and then make a well in the centre. Pour in 450ml water, 50ml olive oil and the yeast and water mixture. Combine using your hands until a smooth dough is formed. If the dough is a bit too sticky, just add a little extra flour and if it is dry, add a splash of water.

3. On a clean floured surface, need the dough for 5 minutes to activate the yeast and stretch the gluten in the dough. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes before kneading it again for 2 minutes. Repeat this process another 3 times and on the second kneading, incorporate the remaining 25ml olive oil.

4. Once the bread has been kneaded 3 times, return the dough into the mixing bowl, covering it with a dry tea towel and allowing it to rest somewhere warm for 3 hours.

5. Once the resting period is over, the dough will have tripled in size. Elongate the dough ball gently by stretching it from both ends and then using a knife, cut the dough into half. To form the correct shape for the bread, you will need to stretch the dough into a long flat shape about 40cm long. Repeat this with the other half of the dough and place each one onto an oven tray lined with baking paper and using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, make 2 long lengthways incision in the centre of the dough, just 2-3 inches away from each end. Finally cover each oven tray with clean tea towels and allow them to rise for a further 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6. Once the loaves have risen again, brush with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with nigella seeds. Bake each loaf in the oven for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown. The best way to check if they are cooked through is to tap the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow it is cooked.

7. Allow the bread to cool down for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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