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Moroccan Khobz Recipe – Basic Moroccan Bread Recipe

Moroccan Khobz Recipe – Basic Moroccan Bread Recipe

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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.

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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.
4.71 from 125 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Moroccan
Yield 8 servings from 2 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!Mention @tasteofmaroc or tag #tasteofmaroc!
Leave a Comment or Review

 

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.

Recipe Rating




MONICA DLC

Thursday 14th of March 2024

I have made this bread no less than 20 times and it is fool proof and delicious. My husband is from Morocco and he loves it.

Christine Benlafquih

Friday 15th of March 2024

Thanks for taking time to let me know!

Julia

Wednesday 27th of December 2023

I love this recipe! Could you please advise how to make bread more soft on the edges after baking? Thanks!

Christine Benlafquih

Thursday 28th of December 2023

I don't find that the edges get too hard, but for a softer crust, you can try a few things, either alone in combination: make the dough a little softer, use a little more oil in the dough, and cover the dough with a towel while it's cooling.

Pauline

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Tried at my sisters it was lovely can you make in bread maker

Christine Benlafquih

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

The knobz won't have the traditional shape if you use a bread maker, and the recipe is written for a single rise after shaping. However, you might try using a bread maker to make the dough only. That said, it's easier to assess and adjust the texture of the dough if you use a stand mixer with dough hook or knead the dough by hand.

Alisa

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Help! I have been craving Moroccan bread. I lived there for two years 20 years ago. I attempted to make this today. First time bread maker. It did not turn out? It is too dense. Not the airy texture it’s supposed to have. I used the quick yeast. I followed the instructions. I have never kneaded before, I did it for 20 min. Maybe when I got to the step to flatten to 1/4 inch I squished out the air bubbles?? Any suggestions? Also, should I add water as kneading to make it softer/smooth? Help! I really want to do this correctly. Too bad I didn’t take better notes while living there.

Christine Benlafquih

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Hi Alisa. I can think of a few possibilities for why your bread was dense. 1) Your yeast wasn't very active or you didn't use warm water when dissolving it or making the dough. Hot water will kill yeast while cold water will prevent it from activating properly. You can try testing your yeast before making your next batch by dissolving it in a little warm water with a little sugar; leave about 10 minutes. If it turns foamy/frothy, then it's good to use. 2) You might have needed more water to yield a softer dough. The dough should not be stiff; instead, it should be soft enough to knead easily. If the dough is stiff, you'll end up with denser bread. 3) You didn't allow the shaped, flattened loaves enough time to rise properly. In a warm environment you'll need only an hour or so, but if your kitchen was cold the loaves might have needed more time to rise.

I hope that helps. Good luck with your next attempt!

Topaz

Saturday 21st of January 2023

The bread is AMAZING! BUT....if you egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds before baking, make sure to make the egg wash with a room temperature egg and warm water. I used an egg out of the fridge and cool water (I was rushing)--next thing I knew my bread was sinking down. It still baked well and was a beautiful bread inside...flavor outstanding...it just didn't look as beautiful as it did before the egg wash.