Armenian leavened bread matnakash


Matnakash is a golden, fluffy Armenian bread, known for its distinctive shaping with longitudinal “grooves” on the surface. The name “matnakash” translates to “pulled by fingers”, alluding to the unique way the bread is shaped. The baker presses and stretches the soft dough with the tips of their fingers, giving it its characteristic appearance. This technique is not just aesthetic; it has roots in Armenian history. During the Soviet era, the grooves symbolized the furrows of freshly tilled soil in a field.

Armenian leavened bread matnakash
Armenian leavened bread matnakash

Wheat flour is used for the bread, and it can rise with the help of a sourdough starter or yeast. The dough is folded multiple times, similar to the more familiar rye breads. The longitudinally shaped bread is baked until it acquires a golden hue. The result is a bread with a delicate crust, light crumb and a balanced non-sour flavor profile.

Matnakash and lavash as a side dish
Matnakash and lavash as a side dish

Matnakash is typically served as a side dish, often in combination with unleavened bread lavash. Due to the extensive Armenian diaspora, it can be encountered outside its homeland as well.

❤️ Experience the Armenian passion for food and drink! Sign up for my newsletter and I will guide you for free through all the tastes and aromas of this amazing gastronomic destination.