Matnakash – The Ultimate Armenian Bread
Matnakash is a leavened traditional Armenian bread. The word ‘matnakash’ means “finger draw” or “finger pull”, referring to the way the bread is prepared. It is made of wheat flour with yeast or sourdough starter. It is shaped into oval or round loaves with longitudinal or criss-crossed scoring. The characteristic golden or golden-brown color of its crust is achieved by coating the surface of the loaves with sweetened tea essence before baking.
The bread has a massive popularity in Armenia, and there have been created many variants and different patterns of it. Matnakash was very much honored in Soviet times. In the 1930s, food specialists in Soviet Armenia wanted to mark the new communist country with a more modern looking bread. The Matnakash became a mass-produced urban bread. Even the bakers’ patterns on the bread were re-interpreted to fit the Soviet agenda. It resembled a plowed field with rows and furrows. The bread’s rim was interpreted as an agricultural field and its imprinted lines as tilled rows.
The golden brown crust from the outside and the softness on the inside will make you devour this delicious bread, especially when it’s fresh out of the oven. Have the bread with cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh greens & herbs, along with your general meal, or even just by itself – every form is acceptable!
To learn more about Armenia’s food & drink, please visit our ARMENIAN CUISINE page