Bakeries are easy to locate in Iran, just simply detect the irresistible scent of freshly baked flatbreads. Of the four main traditional types, sangak is the most popular and is seen as Iran’s national bread. It is made from wholewheat flour and topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sometimes poppy seeds at the customer’s request.
The baker moves and gesticulates constantly as he works in what resembles a dance in front of gas-fired ovens. Exclusively the job of men in the Islamic republic, bakers get up well before the crack of dawn while everyone else is still asleep.
They take a ball of dough and spreads it on a board before placing it on the inside walls of the glowing furnace using a long set of tongs. Once they are done, the baker again uses the tongs to retrieve the bread and hangs it on the wall or piles it up.
A freshly baked Iranian flatbread usually accompanies a piece of feta cheese and sweet tea for breakfast or a plate of kebab for lunch.