Saturday, 9 March 2013

Lavash - لواش

We love cheese and simply love all cheeses!!! Our love of cheese perhaps comes from our childhood days spent sipping sweetened tea with cube sugar and stuffing pieces of bread with feta cheese. These days our love affair with cheese is the force behind us making feta cheese and baking bread only to consume it fresh.  Bread for Persians is fresh bread, warm and inviting, taken home from a local noonvaee (bakery baking only one type of bread) in the morning for breakfast or in the afternoon for dinner. On long summer afternoons, fresh bread with cheese and herbs or with slices of tomato and cucumber was a refreshing afternoon tea, much like crackers and cheese are a simple comforting snack.

The word for bread in Farsi is nān and does not refer to Indian naan.   Persian Lavash is a thin large sheet of bread dough cooked inside a tanoor. A tanoor, similar to an Indian tandoor, is a massive clay pot or custom built into a well or a wall and it is heated by charcoal or wood. A tanoor is heated for a long time to heat the clay walls. Once the dough is rolled out, it is placed on a long thick oven mitt and the dough is pressed firmly against the tanoor wall. The dough immediately sticks to the hot burning wall. Once, the dough is cooked, it simply peels off the tanoor wall. Without a tanoor at home, nothing stops us from making lavash or barbari (Turkish pide style of Persian bread) at home. Absolutely nothing beats the smell of fresh bread and making lavash is easier than you think. If you have a little time then try this easy no-fail recipe.

2 Cups plain flour
1 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 - 1.5 Cups warm water (30C)

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  2. Make a well and add 1/ 2 cup of water.
  3. Mix with a large spoon.
  4. Gradually, add the remainder of the water until the dough comes together and is a little sticky.
  5. Cover and set aside.
  6. Set in a warm place if you are making this in winter.
  7. Once, the dough doubles (1hr is a good rule of the thumb), remove the cover and punch it a few times.
  8. Wait for 10 minutes and take a small ball (size of an egg) of dough and place it on flour covered chopping board.
  9. Heat a flat skillet on the stove or alternatively heat a large fry pan.
  10. Sprinkle a little flour over it and roll with a rolling pin until it is about 2mm thick.
  11. Place on a hot skillet or fry pan.
  12. Once fully puffed, turn it over.
  13. Place cooked lavash on cake racks to cool.

The dough should not stick to a skillet and there is no need to oil it first.
Shake off excess flour from rolled dough before cooking as flour left on a skillet will burn.


  1. Hi Susan jan,
    I love your recipe! Its been a while since I had real lavash!
    I tried this today and mine came out a little dry,meaning if you fold them like you have done in your pictures they will break in half.Also, they are a bit tough under your teeth. Could you tell me what I might have done wrong?
    Thanks heaps!

  2. Hi Parisa Jan,

    Hope Melbourne is not too cold these days!

    The reason lavash turned out a little tough is because the dough was kneaded a little too long before resting or it was rolled too many times when rolling it out with a rolling pin.

    The tricky thing gluten does is, if it is over-stretched (over-kneaded or handled for too long) it gives bread a very chewy texture.

    If the dough was too thin it dries out during cooking. I'm not sure how thick lavash should be but, if memory serves me well, it was a good 2-3mm thick.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I wonder is it ok to leave the dough overnight when you have mixed all the ingredients and bake it in the morning?

    1. Hi There, leaving the dough overnight is only recommended when the recipes calls for a very small amount of yeast. I have not tried leaving the dough overnight yet.