Every time I make a big meal from a new culture, I always make a bread to go along with it. Hobz is a traditional bread in Morocco that is sold everywhere, yet it is still the most commonly made bread at home. Almost every family makes these at home everyday for daily use.
In a way, I feel like bread brings us together as a world full of different people. Bread is integral to so many cultures! In India, Naan and Chapati and Paratha are used to sop up delicious curries, in Israel, Challah is torn from a communal loaf as a family, in France, someone brings a Fresh Baguette for breakfast every morning. We are all connected through our love of bread!
Perhaps it is the simplicity of the ingredients, the relative low cost of wheat, and the filling nature of bread that makes it so important to us. Even here in America, folks line up for Sandwich Bread anytime disaster strikes! There is an old proverb that I came across several times in my research of Moroccan breads, it reads “manage with bread and butter until God sends honey.”
In Morocco this delicious fluffy bread is used to dip into saucy tagines (like my Lamb Tagine with Onions and Apricots), is dipped in honey with a smear of butter, and is served alongside the traditional salad course that precedes every meal!
I have been refining my Moroccan recipes for months, and decided to serve a “mini Moroccan meal” for some friends who will not be here next weekend for the real thing! I served this bread with a Miniature Moroccan Salad Course, a bowl of honey, and some butter.
7 cups semolina flour
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp. yeast
4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Combine fours, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer with a bread making attachment.
Slowly add in 2 cups of water.
Add the olive oil.
Add 1 1/2 cup more water until combined.
Flour your counter and dump out the dough.
Knead for a minute or so until a smooth ball forms.
Cover with a kitchen cloth and go do something else for 20 minutes.
Generously re-flour your counter top and divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
Knead them a bit into a ball and flatten with your fingers to make a 5-7 inch disk. Place on floured counter with a bit of space to rise between them.
Cover in several kitchen cloths and leave for another 45 minutes.
After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450 degrees or even better, 425 with the convection fan on and place two large cookie sheets on both shelves.
Right before baking, press down the center of your breads and make a couple holes with a fork.
Melt the butter and brush the tops of your breads. This is not required, but it gives them a bit of a sheen which I think is lovely!
Open the oven and brush the top of your cookie sheet with butter and gingerly toss the doughs on top, you may need to do it in 2 batches.
Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden and hard and it feels hollow when tapped.
Cool on a cooling rack for a crispier crust or a towel for a softer crust.
Cool before serving, serve with Tagine or Salad Course, or serve for breakfast with some butter and honey.
Total cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes, makes 12 6 inch breads
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Thank you all again, and I can’t wait to get these books into your kitchens!