Khobz is a bread that is a staple in Morocco. We first got introduced to Moroccan cuisine in Indianapolis at a restaurant called El Morocco, and we became addicted to the bread, and the various vegetarian accompaniments - served in multiple courses, starting with the golden warm bread. Alas, the restaurant closed within a few months, much to our disappointment. But it led me on a hunt for Moroccan recipes online, and I believe I may have found the bread. It's a simple bread, and I have pretty much followed the standard basic recipe, without too much alternations. I made a warm, moderately spicy vegetable soup. The bread is wonderfully porous to mop up the soup. I make the soup fairly liquidy, to dip the bread in.
This is a very basic white bread, and I didn't experiment with alternate flours, or toppings even though the original recipe in most websites call for sesame seed topping.
4cups unbleached all purpose flourmay not need the whole 4 cups, roughly 3 3/4 cups are enough
2cupswarm waterAgain, will only need about 1 3/4 cups water
21/4tspactive dry yeast1 packet yeast; if using instant yeast, no need to activate the yeast
1/4cupsesame seedsoptional, I didn't use; you may experiment with other toppings such as nigella seeds
2tspsugarto activate the yeast
In a wide and deep bowl, dissolve the sugar, and the yeast in a cup of warm water, about 110 deg; if the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Let it rest for about 10 mins for the yeast to activate.
The yeast will get activated, and get frothy and fat; if it doesn't get bubbly and frothy, the most likely reason is it is past the expiry date. Throw it out and start with yeast that has not expired. If you're using instant yeast, skip the waiting time, and go to the next step (mix it all together, no need to wait for the yeast to activate)
Add about 3 and 3/4 cups of the flour, salt and mix it all together
Knead for about 8 minutes, adding more water just a little at a time, as needed. The dough will be sticky. After kneading for a while, add half of the oil to your hand and into the dough, and incorporate it so that the dough forms into a ball; rest for 10 minutes
After 10 minutes, knead the dough again, divide into 4 equal sections;
Working with one section at a time, knead it well, and flatten onto a floured board or counter with your palm, making a circle about 1/4 inch thick
Make 4 circles of roughly the same size, adding the remaining oil to your palms to help with the stickiness
Keep this covered with a tea towel, in a dry warm place and let it rest for 1 hour; around 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 425 F
In an hour, the dough circles would double in volume; scour each with a knife or fork to create steam vents; gently press sesame seeds if using, onto the surface
Bake in the preheated oven for roughly 20-25 minutes
The bread is done when the tops are a beautiful golden brown, and sound hollow when tapped; remove from the oven and let cool
This bread is pretty mild tasting. And porous. The top is crispy and crusty, and the inside is spongy with big holes, perfect for mopping up soup; I serve it with a spicy garbanzo vegetable soup, and it's a very satisfying vegan meal, perfect for any day!
I have made this only twice and both times, enjoyed it thoroughly. It tastes even better the following day, so make a few loaves to enjoy for a couple of days.
The bread also freezes beautifully. Freeze any extra when cool. Simply thaw for a couple of hours, and eat; no reheating is necessary.
This is a keeper for me.
I would like to experiment with flax seed toppings, and possibly half whole wheat flour.