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  • Sahar Shomali

The Beginning

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the Kouzeh Bakery Blog. A space in which I will attempt to gather the research I am doing on Persian bread, and give suggestions on how to incorporate these breads in your daily meal plans.

For years, I have been fascinated by the world of Bread. Each country/culture/religion/region has its own collection of bread that is loved and cherished. It is the one common food item found in every cuisine of the world. And they are ALL both vastly different and remarkably similar at the same time.

Considering the diversity of cuisine and culture in Iran, regional ingredients and cooking methods that are used all around the country, it is not surprising that there are close to a hundred different bread creations found in Iran. And yet most people cannot name more than 3-4 that they know about or have ever tried. I myself was completely ignorant of this diversity for years. Having been born and raised in Tehran, my knowledge of Iranian bread was a noticeably short list of: Barbari, Sangak, Taftoon, Lavash and Gisou. It wasn’t until my college years where my social circle grew to include many friends from different parts of Iran, that I started learning about their cuisine, and more specifically about their bread.

Fast forward to 20 years later: after moving to the USA, attending Culinary school and working in the pastry departments of some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, I realized that my love of Iranian bread is not just a passing matter, but a passion I need to follow. With this knowledge to fuel me, I started testing Barbari bread at home. I wanted the REAL Barbari, the one I grew up eating in Tehran. The one you had to stand in line for at 6 am, so you could get it fresh out of the oven. It took months of testing, adjusting, and studying to finally hammer down what is now Kouzeh’s Barbari bread.



Now that I had Barbari down, it was time to expand into other bread. Next came Gisou, a sweet braided bread from Tehran, then Eashly-Koukah, a Filled bread from Tabriz and Kopou, an herbaceous bun from Kerman. With every new bread, came a lot of research and study into the History and traditions of the people who make the bread. And since I have always been in love with a good story, finding these stories about the bread I was making, made it more and more interesting to continue.

And so, here we are. Kouzeh is almost 3 years old, and I have 14 items on the menu with many (many!) more being researched and tested to be added into the roster. I have learned so much about the bread culture of Iran, and will try to share it with you, here, as best as I can.



I would also LOVE to hear from you. If you know of a bread that I should know about, please tell me! Or if you found a new and interesting way to incorporate Kouzeh bread into your meals, send me a picture. If you have any questions, ask away and I will try my best to give you an answer.

But please, do not ask me to share my bread recipes. Please understand and respect the time and energy that goes into finalizing each recipe and how these recipes are the foundation of Kouzeh.


Sahar

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