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Moroccan Khobz Recipe – Basic Moroccan Bread Recipe

Moroccan Bread (Khobz). Photo: picturepartners | Bigstock.com

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The round Moroccan bread served at most meals is called khobz, but you might also hear it referred to by Berber names of kesra in Tamazight or agroum in Tashelhit.

Crusty with a coarse interior, it’s perfect for the traditional Moroccan method of eating most dishes by hand using pieces of bread instead of a fork to scoop up Moroccan salads, tagines, other entrees, sides and more.

Wedges of bread may also be split open and stuffed with grilled meats or sandwich fillers of any kind.

Khobz is sometimes described as a flatbread, but the round, flattish loaves are usually thicker than a typical flatbread. While the thickness can vary from bakery to bakery and family to family, generally khobz will not be more than one-inch (3 cm) high, depending on the flour used. Many Moroccans prefer to keep the height to no more than a half-inch (1.5 cm) thick.

Unless you find yourself in a rural area, freshly-baked khobz is readily available from neighborhood shops, bakeries and large grocery stores. Nonetheless, many families prefer to make their own homemade bread (khobz dyal dar), either baking it in a home oven or in a public street ovens known as a ferran.

At home, a variety of flours are typically used, and loaves can be shaped anywhere from petite rounds on up to family-sized loaves of 12-inches (30 cm) or more in diameter.

Below is a basic khobz recipe for Moroccan white bread, sometimes called force in reference to the French word for strong white flour. Although you can use all-purpose flour, selecting one that’s labeled bread flour or high in gluten will yield best results. Experiment with replacing some or half of the white flour with durum flour (very fine semolina), whole wheat or barley flour.

The dough requires a short rest and one rise before it goes into the oven. Plan to freeze unused Moroccan bread as it won’t stay fresh at room temperature for more than a day.

Also try our Gluten Free Khobz recipe.

two loaves of Moroccan flatbread called khobz in a traditional basket

Moroccan White Bread Recipe - Khobz

Christine Benlafquih | Taste of Maroc
A traditional recipe for homemade Moroccan bread or khobz, a Moroccan flatbread served at nearly every meal. This version is for white bread but you can mix in wheat, semolina or other flours.
Yields 2 8" loaves.
4.65 from 70 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine Moroccan
Yield 8 servings from [adjustable]2[/adjustable] 8" loaves
Calories 267 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 cups white flour - preferably high gluten or bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp oil - olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups water - warm (not hot)
  • oil, semolina or cornmeal - optional (for preparing the pan)

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper OR lightly oiling it OR dusting it with semolina or cornmeal. Set aside.
  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast.
  • Add some of the water to the yeast in the well and lightly stir with your fingers to dissolve the yeast (see Recipe Notes below). Add the rest of the water and oil to bowl and stir to combine all ingredients. 
  • Knead the dough (in the bowl if it's large enough or on a floured work surface) for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. While kneading, work in a little flour or water as needed to ensure the dough is soft and pliable but not sticky.
  • Divide the dough into two smooth mounds and place well apart on the prepared pan. Cover with a towel and leave to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After resting, pat the mounds of dough into flat, round loaves about 1/4" thick. Cover again with a towel and leave to rise for about an hour (longer in a cold room), until the dough springs back when pressed lightly.
  • Preheat your oven to 435°F (225°C). When the oven is hot, lightly score the top of the bread with sharp knife or poke in several places with a fork. 
  • Bake the khobz in the preheated oven, rotating the pan if necessary, for about 20 minutes or golden brown. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped.
  • Transfer the khobz to a rack or towel-lined basket to cool. 

Notes

  • If you're not sure that your yeast is not fresh and active, please proof it before adding it to the ingredients in step 3. This is done by dissolving the yeast in a little warm water with a pinch of sugar. The mixture should become foamy within 10 minutes, indicating the yeast is active and ready to use. If the mixture doesn't turn foamy, discard it and get fresh yeast before proceeding. 
  • You can use a stand mixer with dough hook to knead the dough. Simply combine the ingredients as described above in the bowl of the mixer before fitting it to the machine. Keep a careful eye for the first minute or two to make any necessary adjustments to flour and/or water.
  • Sesame seeds make an attractive and tasty garnish for Moroccan white bread. Golden, unhulled sesame is preferred in Morocco. The seeds can be pressed into the top of the dough when shaping the loaves (first brush the dough with water to help the seeds adhere) or added just prior to baking (gently brush the risen dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with the sesame).
 

Nutrition

Calories: 267kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 7gFat: 4gSodium: 585mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gCalcium: 9mgIron: 2.9mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate obtained from online calculators. Optional ingredients may not be included in the nutritional information.

Tried this recipe? We'd love to know!Leave a Comment | Mention @tasteofmaroc | tag #tasteofmaroc
REVIEW THIS RECIPE

 

About The Author

Christine Benlafquih is Founding Editor at Taste of Maroc and owner of Taste of Casablanca, a food tour and culinary activity business in Casablanca. A long time resident of Morocco, she's written extensively about Moroccan cuisine and culture. She was the Moroccan Food Expert for The Spruce Eats (formerly About.com) from 2008 to 2016.
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Nicolas Castonguay

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

Thank you for this recipe! This brings me back to my time in Morocco, I spent five weeks there as a student and semi-lived off of bread. I probably had 50-60 loaves in the 35 days I was there!

Quick question: If I want to try this recipe with alternative flour (semolina as you recommended), do you recommend the same ratio of water if I do 50% semolina, 50% whole wheat?

Christine Benlafquih

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

Hi Nicolas. You can use this recipe as a starting point for water if you want to use wheat and fine semolina or durum flour in your bread flour mixture. The objective is to get a dough that's soft and very easy to knead, but not sticky. Depending on your flour, you may need to add a little more flour while kneading or a little more water. In general you always have to be a bit flexible when it comes to the amount of water needed to make bread. There are ratios by weight that some bakers use, but the exact amount of water tends to vary from flour to flour. Even weather conditions can affect the amount of water needed since flour absorbs humidity; when it's "wetter" from that condition, it will need a little less water to make a bread dough. Good luck!

Paulakimlicka

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Trying this specific recipe for the first time. My husband is Moroccan and I am trying to master this recipe. I did leave out the oil...lets see if it will make a huge difference. I will brush with water and add sesame seeds.

Christine Benlafquih

Saturday 21st of November 2020

You should be able to omit the oil and get good results. Let me know how it turns out for you.

Nzube mbadugha

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Please I need your help regarding flours in morroco .I have been looking for a hard flour that is a bit white in colour very suitable for bread loaf

Christine Benlafquih

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Farine de blé is a hard white flour. Both oat and barley flour are whitish and also used to make bread, but are usually mixed with other flours to avoid too-dense texture. If you scroll through the comments, you'll find a list of flours used to make bread. Hope that helps.

Brahim ElHadry

Monday 25th of May 2020

I have tried it and it's a great recipe with good results and tasty loaves of bread. The only problem was to keep the yeast warm enough to reach fermentation stage to help the dough rise... we are in the pacific northwest and the temperature is still low at this time of year.

Christine Benlafquih

Monday 25th of May 2020

In cooler weather you can use more layers to cover the dough to keep it warm while it rises. Our home is unheated and in the winter I use a lightweight blanket. Or, you might try letting the bread rise in an oven with the light on.

Howard France

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Lovely easy to follow and delicious recipe. Did the basic one last weekend and had great success with it, so this weekend I decided to vary it slightly, adding toasted sesame seeds to one of the loaves, then coating it with toasted sesame seeds as well, then the other loaf I used some rosemary infused olive oil in the mix as well as a tablespoon of dried mixed herbs and a teaspoon of garlic powder and coated the outside in sea salt, rosemary oil and fresh rosemary leaves. They turned out beautifully, just like last week.

Christine Benlafquih

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

That rosemary, garlic and herb garnish sounds absolutely delicious! I'll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing your variation.

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