Modern Baker Challenge: Armenian Barbary Bread

When you are juggling two baking challenges at once, it’s a little hard to keep up.  Especially when the Modern Baker Challenge is focussing on bread and you haven’t finished the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge yet!

So in advance of what is to be a slew of BBA posts, let me catch up on my Modern Baker breads (though I perhaps shouldn’t say catch up as this is the only post outstanding at the moment in that category!)  As I am sharing the challenge with my sisters, we each picked a few recipes to focus on.  I took Armenian Barbary bread in part because the recipe was taken from a friend of “Nick’s” in Watertown, which is near-ish to where I live.  Watertown, MA has a large Armenian population, the cuisine of which I hope to have more opportunity to sample someday!  Plus I get to use up my nigella seeds (the little black sesame seeds of which I have far too many).

I was indifferent about this bread, as it turned out.  Though it was an easy and fun bread to make, I think the problem could be that after all my BBA sourdoughs, “straight,” un-retarded doughs don’t seem to have enough flavor.  Separately I think that it’s not a bread for eating alone so much as for gracing a meal.  (To prove my point–who eats pita bread on its own, except perhaps for some of the Modern Baker Challenge participants when they have made their own!)  So I froze the rest to have on hand for when I make a meal out of one of my favorite cookbooks, Claudia Roden’s New Book of Middle Eastern Cuisine.  I’m sure it will be a fantastic complement!

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