“Khobz’ – Moroccan Bread ++ Quick & Easy ++ Dough only needs to rise once!

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

I purchased this beautifully hand-painted blue and white platter in Casablanca.  It’s one of my favorites!

I truly enjoy making different kinds of bread!  It amazes me how something so comforting and delicious comes out of playing around with some flour, salt and sugar etc.  It also amazes me how many different types of bread there are in the world. One of my favorite memories took place in India on New Year’s Eve years ago, where we saw men (fearless men!) slapping Naan onto the sides of a tandoor oven with their bare hands.

And, on a visit to Cairo, we saw women sitting on the ground cooking bread on large, flat stones.  That bread was, like Naan, a flat-bread but with a whole different – and wonderful – taste.

Egyptian Flat Bread - courtesy of Egyptian Food Recipes.com

++  Curious about ‘Breads of the World’ – here’s a great site!    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breads

Interestingly enough, bread in Malta is called ‘Hobz’ (Ħobż Malti).  Ħobż Malti is dense, heavy bread which makes wonderful sandwiches.  Malta was ruled by Arabs for quite a long time, and the Maltese language contains many words derived from (or exactly the same as) Arabic.  So, it’s not too surprising that the Arabic word for bread is ‘Khobz’ and the Maltese word is Hobz.

When we lived in Malta I wrote a small book about the country’s long and varied history.  And let me tell you, Malta’s history, including rule by the Knights of St. John (better known today as The Knights of Malta) is fascinating!

Maltese Hobz -  courtesy of 'honeyandmustard.wordpress.com

One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten is called Hobz Biz-zejt.  There are times when The Whole Equals More Than the Sum of It’s Parts and this is sure one of those times!!   Hobz Biz-zejt can be recreated with another type of crusty bread, but it just won’t be quite the same…   Here’s a link if you’d like to make these sandwiches at home.  (I just started following this blog!)

https://honeyandmustard.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/maltese-traditional-hobz-biz-zejt/

I know you’re going to enjoy Khobz.  It’s easy to make.  The recipe makes two loaves.  And – best of all – Khobz only needs one rising.

– – – –

INGREDIENTS      Oven at 435F      Bake for 20 minutes     ++ Switch position of baking sheets after first 10 minutes

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2  tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water   ++  Water should feel warmer than your skin.  Try pouring a bit on your wrist to check.  If the water’s too cold – or too hot – the yeast won’t work properly and the bread won’t rise. 
  • olive oil  – – to spread on baking sheets – and – to drizzle on bread both before and after baking

METHOD

Prepare 2 baking sheets by pouring 1/2 tsp. olive oil in the center of each baking sheet.  Spread oil, using fingers, to make a 5″ – 6″ circle .     ++ You can skip the olive oil and use cornmeal…. but, to me, cornmeal doesn’t seem very authentic. Place 4 cups flour, 2  tsp. salt and 2 tsp. sugar in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.

Make a well in the center.   Place 1 Tbs. yeast in the center.  Gently pour 2 Tbs. olive oil and 1 1/4 cups warm water into the well and mix together to dissolve yeast.  Then mix entire contents of bowl until flour mixture has been incorporated.     

++  It may seem, at first, like you’ll never be able to get all the flour incorporated – just work at it a bit and it’ll all come together!   

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes, adding a bit more flour if necessary.  After kneading for 10 minutes dough should be soft and pliable. ++  Here’s an excellent link to learn how to knead bread –   http://bread.wonderhowto.com/how-to/knead-bread-dough-by-hand-355638/ After dough is kneaded, form into a ball.

              Divide dough into halves.         .

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Shape each portion into a smooth, circular mound.

khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com (4)

Place dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Cover with towels.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com

After 10 minutes, flatten dough using the palm your hand to form two – 7″ circles.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

Once again, cover dough with towels. Allow dough to rise for an hour – or until dough springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com

After dough has risen, poke here and there with a fork.  Drizzle on a bit of olive oil and spread with your fingers (which is what I do) or use a spoon.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (4)

++ Raise bottom oven rack up one level     Bake bread at 435F for 20 minutes – – rotating baking sheets halfway through cooking time (at the 10 minute mark). Loaves should be browned and sound hollow when tapped.    ++  Don’t be afraid to take bread out a minute or two early  – oven temperatures can vary widely.

Remove loaves from baking sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.  At this point I like to drizzle on more olive oil and spread it over the crust – because I think it makes most-any bread look better.   Enjoy !!

Khobz - Moroccan White Bread -- www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

—-

  ‘Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes’ 

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Dates - - myyellowfarmhous.com

https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/moroccan-chicken-tangine-with-sweet-potatoes/

And, to complete your meal, how about ‘Couscous with Raisins and Pine Nuts’

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous - myyellowfarmhouse.com

  https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/03/10/moroccan-chicken-couscous-with-raisins-and-slivered-almonds/ 

21 thoughts on ““Khobz’ – Moroccan Bread ++ Quick & Easy ++ Dough only needs to rise once!

      • I was having trouble ‘following’ your blog – but I just checked in my SPAM folder and found the email from your site – so now I am officially following you – HURRAH !!!

  1. This looks easy and straightforward. I would love to try it with the chickpea curry. Thanks for making it three time. Time are busy but I’m glad it’s warming up in Ontario, finally!!!!

    • I wish I’d thought ahead and made some Khobz to go with your chickpea curry, which is simmering away at this very moment. I’m working on a recipe I plan to call Three, Three, Three Chicken and I had two chicken thighs left over, so I cut them up a bit and added them to your FABULOUS chickpea curry. ++ I added a bit less of the chickpeas to accommodate the chicken. I wish I had some of your Naan!! ; o )

  2. You’ve done some of the traveling I hope to do someday! Right now, it’s all about Disney and visiting major league ballparks as part of annual trips. Not quite as exotic as your excursions. I hope to do more bread making this year and would love to give your recipe a try. You’ve made it look very simple (a good thing!) for relative beginners. 🙂

    • Hi There ! I (we) were very, very lucky to have been able to travel so much. My husband (who I ‘lost’ seven years ago, sadly) was an international banker and was pres. of an international merchant bank in Malta. He also worked in the International Depts. of banks in Providence, RI, New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA. He was often traveling for work BUT he accumulated lots of frequent flyer miles that way, which we took advantage of. Also, I would sometimes travel with him on business trips, esp. when we lived in Malta and our boys were grown (and living in the States.) Thanks for saying I made bread-making look simple. I do try to explain things much as I would if someone were in the kitchen with me. And photos sure do help! Videos can be so helpful, which I why I try to include them if I think they’ll be in formative. For instance, it’s pretty hard to explain to someone in words how to knead bread. A video is so much more helpful. Thanks for ‘dropping by’. It’s snowing outside and I’m still in my pjs, banging away on my laptop !! ; o )

  3. Oh my, you have really travelled. I knew about Malta, but not India!!! I wanted to have a tandoor built in my backyard, but when it was hot we’d have to worry about the dogs falling in! Which isn’t funny. A beautiful story and great post!

    • Mimi – thanks – you’re always so kind!! I want some kind of ‘large cement-block bbq thingy’ in my backyard… which would be UGLY AS HELL !! But I’ve seen them (not too often) and chicken comes out sooo flavorful and juicy that I haven’t given up on the idea yet. (I can see why you wouldn’t want to risk your dogs falling in a tanoor oven!! )

    • Thought of something – the tandoor ovens I saw were ‘upright’ – so the dogs wouldn’t fall in !! The men stood up and ‘slapped those little babies’ right in there!!

    • I found this online – it’s not very pretty but it can be ‘fancied up’ with brick or stone on the outside. A big piece of metal has to be laid for the wood or coals, then the actual ‘cooking part’ is made out of some kind of chicken wire or something. I’ll have to ask one of my friends how they used to do it. Follow this link – what I want is labeled’ Concrete Block’. http://www.landscapingnetwork.com/outdoor-kitchens/construction.html

      • Interesting. Thanks for the link. We were invited in to the kitchen of an Indian restaurant in San Francisco and saw the tandoor. These guys had a tool to remove the breads, but yeah, they just slap them on with their hands. If my memory is right, the tandoor gets to 1000 degrees F.

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