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Type Bread
Place of origin Armenia
Main ingredients Wheat flour; yeast or sourdough starter
Cookbook: Matnakash  Media: Matnakash

Matnakash (Armenian: մատնաքաշ) is a leavened traditional Armenian bread, similar to the naan. The word matnakash literally 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.[1]

Matnakash, along with lavash, a thin unleavened Armenian type of flatbread, can be purchased from numerous bakeries in Armenia as well as places with large Armenian populations as a result of the Armenian diaspora.


Matnakash was 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.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matnakash recipe on Armenian Portal in Estonia. (Russian)
  2. ^ Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore By Irina Petrosian, David Underwood - Page 35