This is a recipe my aunt from Höhnhart, Upper Austria shared with me (thank you Berta :-)). Berta and I are connected by our passion for bread and while she has been a master for years, I’m just at the beginning of my bread journey!
This bread is super-delicious with just butter and cheese. Add carrots, celery and some chutney and you have a perfect afternoon snack!
If you are using fresh yeast, mix the yeast with 200g lukewarm water. (With dry yeast, simply add all ingredients together in one go.)
In a separate bowl, mix the flours and salt with a balloon whisk.
Add the dissolved yeast and water, olive oil and the mixed nuts to the flour bowl.
Use the dough hooks of your hand mixer and knead the dough until smooth. Alternatively, hand-knead for 5 minutes or so. I added a little bit more water to get the right hydration as the rye flour I used was very coarse.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for a minute.
Divide the dough into two parts.
Roll out each part to reach 25cm in length. You can work with a rolling pin or just work the dough into a round or oval shape with your hands.
Watching the first episode of Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast set in Morocco, I was (of course) inspired by the industriousness in the Moroccan bread bakery. It brought back memories of my first authentic Moroccan meal, sitting on a balcony overlooking the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa in Marrakesh.
If you love Middle Eastern & Mediterranean food as much as I do, Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks are an unbelievably wonderful resource:
Now For The Khobz Recipe…
This authentic Moroccan bread, called khobz, is a round, flattish bread with plenty of crust making it an ideal bread for dipping and scooping up tagines and salads.
I found a wonderful recipe for Moroccan bread on the Culinary Anthropologist blog and have adjusted it slightly by using wholegrain spelt instead of wholemeal wheat flour. The bread is usually flavoured with anise seeds; however, I used fennel seeds instead which worked well.
Ingredients for 2 khobz loaves (enough for 6 people)
325g strong white bread flour
50g wholegrain spelt flour (use wholemeal wheat flour as an alternative)
125g maize flour or fine polenta
5g dried yeast
350g tepid water (add slightly more if needed)
2 tsps sesame seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
Sesame seeds for the topping
Olive oil to grease the bowl and brush the bread
How to make khobz bread
Combine the flours, salt, yeast and water in a large bowl.
Knead for 10 minutes.
Knead in the sesame and fennel seeds.
Lightly grease the bowl with olive oil.
Shape the dough into a ball, place in the bowl (moving it around to cover the dough with olive oil), then cover the bowl.
Prove the dough for approx. 2 hours (depending on the temperature in the room; it should rise significantly).
Divide the dough into 2 halves with a dough scraper and shape each part into a ball.
Prepare a baking tray and line with baking paper.
Place the dough balls onto the baking tray and flatten them with your hands to about 4 cm in height.
Sprinkle the loaves with the sesame seeds and use your flat hand to carefully press them into the dough.
Cover the loaves with a tea towel and leave for their second prove. This should take about an hour.
1/2 hour before baking, preheat the oven to 240°C.
Just before baking, brush the loaves with olive oil and make a few incisions.
Bake for approx. 30 mins.
Cool on a wire rack.
Khobz is best eaten on the day of baking. We had it with this super-tasty lamb tagine, a recipe by Antony Worrall Thompson.