This simple bread recipe is for a basic Moroccan bread called khobz, khubz or sometimes called Khobz Kesra or khobz Eddar meaning bread in Arabic or translating house bread that just means it’s fresh homemade bread.
Moroccan bread is a round-shaped slightly flattened bread with a shiny crispy crust and coarse but spongy and chewy inside texture. Its texture is a perfect consistency and feel for absorbing Moroccan Tagine gravy and salads. It’s also ideal for soups.
It’s preferable to use strong, high-gluten bread flour for this Moroccan bread, however, I have used plain all-purpose flour outside Morocco before, and it also works well.
This basic bread recipe comes in different forms and is very versatile as it is common to substitute some of the white flour with corn, barley, farina, semolina or wheat flour. You can use all white flour, half half of 2 different flours or use 1/3 of each 3 flours as I did in this recipe.
This Moroccan Khobz works just as good for sandwiches as it does for scooping up Tagines. Smaller shaped rounds can be cut in half and then stuffed with multiple fillings of choice as they do in many Moroccan takeaway shops and beach food huts. We have even cut our larger family-sized khobz into wedges, gently open them up and stuffed them with various fillings for a delicious Spanish style Bocadillo.
This Khobz is a fundamental staple food in Moroccan cuisine and it’s extreamly rare to ever be served anything without it.
I’ve chosen to share it in one of it’s simplest forms, however, please feel free to experiment with its variants once you are confident with the basic base.
Sometimes people like adding different seeds or spices to the dough like black seeds, sesame seeds and even fennel seeds. In addition, you can roll the bread over semolina flour, oats, barley or just white flour.
My kids love having fun playing with this dough and experimenting with different shapes and decorating patterns. Please let me know and share your examples and experiences in the comments section below!
Moroccan Bread – Khobz
- Prepare the ingredients and bring them together
- Prepare two baking trays with baking sheets/paper or by lightly oiling them
- Mix the flours & salt together in a large bowl and make a large hole or well in the centre of the flour mixture and then add the egg and oil in that hole.
- Add the yeast into the measured lukewarm water, give it a stir and mix it in with your fingers if necessary so that it properly dissolves.
- Add the yeast and water mix to the middle of the dry mixture a little at a time stirring the entire contents of the bowl into the centre to incorporate the water into the flour.
- This will result in a sticky mixture and at this point, you can scrape any access dough off your hands back into the mixture and sprinkle a little flour on the top.
- Then you will begin to press the dough against the bottom of the bowl with a clutched fist. This will press any access dough around the edges and bottom back into the mixture.
- When the dough becomes sticky again, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour again and this time turn the whole dough upside down and back into the bowl again so that the bottom side is now the side you sprinkled the flour.
- Now you will repeat the process again. Punching down onto the dough mix with a clutched fist to press the dough back down again, gathering any loose or access bits of dough from the edges of the bowl and folding them back into the mixture.
- If the dough becomes too crumbly or appears stiff it needs more water and you can add this a tiny bit at a time to the bottom of the mixing bowl (not into the mixture itself).
- If the dough appears too sticky add a little more flour a small bit at a time until the consistency is soft & pliable but not sticky or stiff. You certainly wouldn't need more than the measured water for this dough unless you have managed to add more flour than needed somehow.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading the dough. This bit may take about 5-10 minutes by hand until the dough is soft, smooth & elastic.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a smooth circular ball. (you could even divide the dough into 4 smaller balls if you wished).
- Pat the balls down slightly with the palm of your hand
- Cover with a towel and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough into circles about 1cm thick.
- Place the dough onto the prepared pans. Cover with a towel again and let rise for another 20minutes to 1 hour depending on room temperature and type of yeast used. (instant yeast shouldn't need much time at all)
- There are several methods used to create steam vents for the bread to cook thoroughly. You can score the top of the bread with a very sharp knife, you can poke the dough through with a skewer in several places, or create a design of choice with a fork.
- At this point, you can choose to glaze the bread with an egg wash and add any seeds or sprinkle over some semolina flour, oats or wheat.
- Bake the bread for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown in a pre-heated oven at 435 F/225 C. Rotate the pans about halfway through the baking for even browning. Then transfer the bread onto a rack or a tea towel to cool.