Tuesday, March 5, 2013
No doubt you have all noticed that I have been baking a lot of bread from the Mediterranean lately. Specifically bread from the Eastern Mediterranean. Specifically Greece. So I figured it's time to move on to a different location. But try as I might, I still find myself in this region, only I have moved to the other side completely. For quite a while now I have been following a food blogger from Morocco named Alia and her blog Cooking with Alia. She also has a presence on YouTube. Not only are her recipes generally very tasty and attractive but her presentation is straightforward and a real delight.
Chobz is a simple bread, probably used for mopping up the wonderful sauces from Moroccan tagines and other delicacies. From start to finish it takes about 2 hours and includes only very basic ingredients - AP flour, yeast, only a little oil, salt and sugar. No eggs. The final product is thick and rich like a white sandwich bread, but with a pocket like a pita! After baking I had to immediately cut one open and stuff it with chicken. Yum!
Here's What You'll Need:
3 cups AP flour
1/2 Tbs dry yeast
1/2 Tbs sugar
a little warm water (to activate the yeast)
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbs sugar
enough water to make a soft barely sticky dough
Here's What You'll Need to Do:
1. Mix the yeast and 1/2 Tbs sugar in a small bowl, then add a small amount of water and stir. Set aside for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. In a large bowl, place the flour, the salt and the rest of the sugar. Add the yeast mixture and the oil. Finally, add the water, a little at a time, mixing all the while until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.
3. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a round ball. Cover and let them rest for another 10 minutes.
4. Roll out each ball of dough into a round disc, about 12cm (5in) in diameter. Cover and let these discs rise, slowly, for around 1 1/2 hours, or even 2 hours. They will be puffy but not doubled.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). A hot oven. Place the chobz in the heated oven and bake for around 12-14 minutes. About halfway through turn the breads over. They will puff up, like a pita (but not as much as a pita) and get very brown. Cool on a rack and then stuff with your favorite fillings. Yummo!!