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Those on a gluten-free diet in Morocco know the challenge of finding or making a properly textured gluten-free Moroccan bread to replace regular Moroccan bread (khobz). That’s because bread is famously used in place of utensils to scoop up Moroccan salads, sides and main dishes. Eating by hand is the norm in Morocco, and it’s not not only acceptable but encouraged to clean one’s plate and soak up sauce with pieces of crusty, chewy bread.
This gluten-free khobz recipe works well for all of that and more. The dough can be shaped into free-form loaves that resemble khobz or into sandwich-sized rolls. Be sure to select a high-quality gluten free flour mix intended for making bread. The mix should be yeast-free as you’ll be adding yeast yourself. The bread shown here was made using Schär Mix B, which is my preferred brand here in Morocco but may be hard to find in the US.
The shelf life for homemade gluten-free Moroccan bread is quite short. Freeze leftovers to preserve that fresh-baked quality and texture.
Gluten-Free Khobz Recipe - Gluten-Free Moroccan Bread
For the Starter
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp gluten-free flour (yeast-free bread mix)
- 3 tbsp warm water
- In a large bowl, whisk together the starter ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a towel, and set aside until foamy and doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Add the 2 cups of gluten-free flour, salt, oil and water to the starter. Use a rubber spatula to combine the ingredients to form a wet, sticky, spongy dough. It should be too sticky to handle but not as thin as a batter. Adjust flour or water if necessary to get that texture.
- Use the spatula to turn over and "knead" the dough several times. Cover the bowl with plastic and then a towel, and leave to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- After rising, the dough will have absorbed more liquid and will be easier to handle. Dust the dough with a little gluten-free flour or oil your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to you. Divide the dough into four portions and shape into loaves on a lightly floured surface.
- Transfer the shaped dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (For Moroccan bread, a smoothed, rounded mound of dough can be left to rest, covered, for 10 minutes then patted down into a flattened circle.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and then with a towel, and leave to rise until light and puffy, about 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 450° F (230° C). Prick each loaf in several places with a fork then bake in the preheated oven until light golden, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on size and shape. (If the bread is pale, turn on the broiler to help with coloring the last few minutes.) The bread will feel hard when tapped but should soften as it cools.
- Transfer the bread to a rack or towel-lined basket to cool before serving. Once cooled completely, it can be stored in the freezer where it will keep for up to a month.