Baking Recipes, Breadtastic

Sheermal – Oven & Tawa Method

Sheermal is a rich, sweet, milk bread from Persia. The bread has its origins in Iran and is very popular there like roti is in India.
The bread is round, thick and soft. It is midly sweet and high in flavour and fragrance. Due to its sweet taste the bread is popularly served with hot and spicy curries.
I recently made Sheermal to go along with my Kofta Curry that I posted here.

Sheermal bread is made with a dough that is fermented with yeast and enriched with eggs and milk. The dough also has some fragrant ingredients like saffron, cardamom and rose water

Taste wise the bread is slightly sweet and very aromatic to the senses. It uplifts the taste of the curry or dish it is eaten along with.

Sheermal was introduced to India by the Persian Mughals and since then it has been well adapted and become an integral part of the royal cuisine of Northern India. It is not commonly made in Indian homes but Sheermal is popular in restaurants serving Mughlai food. Foodies relish this bread a lot.
Preparing Sheermal at home is no big deal. Follow my recipe below to try it out.
The bread is cooked in an Tandoor oven but at home you can either make it in an electric oven or even on the tawa (cooktop). I tried both methods of cooking. Read my experience at the end of the recipe.

Sheermal Recipe – Oven & Tawa Method

3 cups refined flour (maida)
1 egg
5tbsp melted butter or ghee
10gm instant yeast
5tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
20ml rose water (gulab jal) or 1/4th tsp crushed saffron strands
1/2 tsp salt
200ml luke warm milk approx to bind
Beaten egg yolk
Sesame seeds

  1. In a bowl take refined flour, add salt and mix well.
  2. Make a well in the centre, break an egg, pour butter, add yeast, sugar, cardamom powder, rose water.
  3. Gradually pour luke warm water and start building dough.
  4. Once everything comes together, knead well to form soft, pliable dough.
  5. Make a smooth ball and keep it covered till dough doubles in size (approx 40min to 1 hour)
  6. Once dough has risen, punch out all the air and knead again to get its original size.
  7. Portion out the dough into 8 equal sized balls.
  8. Roll out each into disc about 1 cm thick and place on baking tray.
  9. After about 5 minutes, once the disc has fermented, brush some egg yolk and make marks using end of a spoon.
  10. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the disc, press seeds gently to stick them.
  11. Place the Sheermal in preheated oven. The oven should be preheated at 180 C.
  12. Bake the bread for 30min or till the top is nice and brown.
  13. Remove from oven, and soak it top side down in saffron flavoured water for a few seconds.
  14. Sheermal is ready to serve along with Kofta Curry.
Sheermal served with Kofta Curry

Tawa – Gas Top / Cooktop Sheermal
I cooked few of the Sheermal on gas burner too.
To do so, after step place the disc on a tawa and cook on slow flame. Cover the disc with a lid all the while. The Sheermal will cook faster in comparison and when the bottom has browned remove.
This Sheermal will not brown from top so you have to place it in the top oven rack to achieve the colour.
I found the gas burner Sheermal to be softer however appearance wise the oven Sheermal looked much better.

As you can see it’s quite easy to make Sheermal. Next time you have guests or want a change from rotis do try this bread and see the smile on everyone’s faces.

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