We had our first autumn frost last night. Hooray – it’s time to fire up the oven and bake some bread! What kind of bread? Well, I’ve already produced step-by-step recipes for French baguettes, Pain de Mie, Challah, Crusty Sourdough, and other classic loaves. Today, I think we should make a yeasty, sesame-topped orb known as “Khobz.”
Khobz is a traditional Moroccan bread, served at every meal. The round loaf has a crisp crust and a soft, chewy interior. It’s firm enough for sandwiches, and spongy enough for dipping in olive oil. It’s a fast-and-easy bread to make. Rise time for the dough is just 1 hour.
Shall we make this Moroccan magic together? Here’s the photographic step-by-step, followed by a printable recipe:To start, stir 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast into 1/4 cup warm (about 110°F) water.
Let the yeast mixture stand for 5-10 minutes, or until it foams. Foamy yeast is active yeast.
Then tip 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour into the work bowl of a standing mixer…
And whisk in 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Now add the yeast mixture…
And 1 cup of warm (again, about 110°F) water.
Attach the dough hook to your standing mixer (if you are not mixing and kneading by hand)…
And let the machine mix and knead the dough at medium-low speed for about 6 minutes.
When the dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky to the touch, it’s good to go.
Form the dough into a ball, and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then cut the dough in half…
And form each half into smooth balls.
Slightly flatten the balls with the palm of your hand…
And loosely cover the baking sheet with a floured towel or a piece of greased or non-stick-sprayed plastic wrap.
This next step is very important: Let the dough rest (to relax the gluten) for exactly 10 minutes.
After the 10-minute rest, flatten each ball into round, 1-inch-thick disks.
This next step is entirely up to you: Sprinkle the dough with chopped herbs or sesame seeds…
And gently press them into the dough.
Cover as before, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume — about 1 hour. As you can see, my “warm place” is a common heating pad, obtained from a common drug store.
When the disks have doubled in volume, create steam vents by either piercing the dough in 5 places with the tip of a knife…
Or by scoring a cross into the top.
Pop the baking sheet into a preheated 425°F oven, and bake until the crust is golden brown, and the bread sounds hollow when rapped with the knuckles — about 25 minutes.
If you’d like to freeze the Khobz, let it come to room temperature first. Then wrap it tightly, and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Good news: We’re not freezing our Khobz today. We’re eating it while it’s still hot from the oven!
You’ll find the crust is crackling crisp when the bread is warm. You might like to peel off the crust, and enjoy it all by itself.
Then you can dip the soft interior into some fruity (and admittedly very expensive) extra-virgin olive oil.
Do give this Moroccan classic a try. Again, it’s an EASY bread to make!
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Here’s the printable: