Khoubiz (1)

Khoubiz (1)

Lebanese flat bread

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Makes
8
Photographer
Alan Benson

Of all the Middle Eastern breads, this is the most widely known. In recent years its popularity has increased enormously as Western tastes become more adventurous.

Though widely available, khoubiz is easily made in a domestic oven or electric frying pan. Though the home product is not as evenly browned, it has a better flavour and finer texture. Traditionally, khoubiz contains no shortening, but I find a little oil in the dough improves the flavour and texture. Many Lebanese cooks also add oil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
900g plain flour
2 teaspoons active dried yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and warm in a low oven.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 60 ml warm water. Add another 440 ml warm water and stir in the salt and sugar.
  3. Remove and reserve about 300 g flour from the bowl. Pour the yeast liquid into the centre and stir in some flour from the side of the bowl to make a thick liquid. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until frothy.
  4. Stir in the flour remaining in the bowl, adding the oil gradually. Beat until smooth, either by hand for 10 minutes, or with an electric mixer using a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle some of the reserved flour onto a surface. Turn out the dough and knead for 10 minutes, using more flour as required. The dough is ready when it is smooth and satiny, with a slightly wrinkled texture. Shape the dough into a ball.
  6. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, then turn it over to coat the top with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1–1½ hours, or until almost doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  8. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for a minute or so, then divide into eight equal pieces, rolling each into a ball.
  9. Roll each ball into a 25 cm circle and place on a lightly floured cloth. Cover with another cloth and leave for a further 20 minutes.
  10. Heat a large baking tray or flat griddle on the lowest shelf of an electric oven; in a gas oven, select the section of the oven with the most even heat, probably near the top.
  11. Place a round of dough on a lightly floured baking tray with one flat edge, or on a piece of plywood, spreading it evenly. Shake to ensure that it will slide off easily.
  12. Rub the heated baking tray or griddle with a wad of paper towels dipped in oil, then slide the dough onto it.
  13. Bake for 4–5 minutes, or until the dough puffs up like a balloon. If you would like it browned on top, turn the bread quickly and leave for a minute.
  14. Remove the bread from the oven and wrap in a cloth to keep it warm and soft. Bake the remaining rounds in the same way.

Note

  • To bake the flat breads in an electric frying pan — a good alternative if your gas oven does not heat evenly — preheat the frying pan on the highest setting with the metal lid on, vent closed. When heated, oil the base quickly and slide the dough onto the base. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, then remove the lid and turn the bread over. Cover and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
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