Thursday, December 9, 2010


This Moroccan-style bread is just a single-rise water bread baked free-standing. It has very little taste of its own other than fresh-baked bready goodness. The idea is to use it instead of your fingers to scoop up dips, salads, and those last bits of soup in the bowl.

Because there is no sugar in the dough, it will not get toasty brown. It is very easy to overbake the bread while you're waiting for it to look done. The best way to judge is to touch it. The loaves should be soft, without too thick a crust, but not squishy and doughy.

If the yeast does not activate in the warm water, you can cheat a bit and add 1/4 tsp of sugar to the mix. It's a small enough amount that it won't affect the taste. And a few words about salt: it kills yeast. The original recipe from Mideast & Mediterranean Cuisines had you adding salt to the water with the yeast. Sure way to end up with matzah. Always add the salt with or after the flour.

To use a package of yeast, double this recipe

1 C warm (100º) water
1 tsp yeast
2-3 C flour
1 tsp salt

1. Dissolve yeast in water and let sit until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Turn on oven for about 2 minutes, then turn back off.

2. In a bowl, combine water and 1 C flour to make a batter. Add another 1 C of flour and the salt to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth, adding as little flour as you can in the process, about 5-10 minutes.

3. Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a ball. Flatten balls slightly into discs 1" high. Place on ungreased cookie sheets several inches apart. Place in warmed oven to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

4. Remove bread from oven and preheat to 350º. Bake for 15 minutes, or until done.

Makes 2 8-oz loaves

Difficulty rating  :)

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