This bread is now commonly available in North American food
stores, but making it at home is food for the soul! During its preparation
and baking the house is filled with a welcoming aroma.
It is also pleasurable to look through your oven window and see the dough inflate into a dome–the key step that creates a hollow pocket that characterizes this type of bread. Once finished, you can stuff the pocket with all sorts of ingredients, creating a unique kind of sandwich.
As in the making of all leavened breads, the major requirement is waiting for the dough to rise; this is the case with KHOUBEZ KIMAAJ. Also, when baking, make sure to lay the dough loaves on a hot pizza stone or directly onto the hot oven racks.
2 ml (1/2 tsp) sugar
675 mL (2 -2/3 cups) lukewarm water
20 mL (4 tsp) yeast granules
15 mL (1 tbsp) salt
1.5 L (6 cups) all purpose or whole wheat flour or half and half
25 mL (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
Dissolve sugar in the water, add yeast and let stand for 15 minutes. Add salt to flour and mix. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour and mix thoroughly. If you find it too sticky add more flour.
Sprinkle a handful of flour on the counter top and knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Form into a longish shape and pat with vegetable oil.
Divide into 6 pieces, each about the size of a grapefruit. (If you want loaves to be smaller, then by all means divide into 8 to 10 pieces.) Knead each individual portion with the palm of one hand, shape it into a ball and lay on a tea towel. Cover with another tea towel and let rest for about 20 minutes – this will facilitate the rolling.
Place a quilt on a table. Top the quilt with a fresh clean linen sheet, leaving half the quilt and half the sheet hanging down.
Sprinkle the working surface lightly with flour and lay one of the dough balls on it. Using a rolling pin, roll out in all directions until dough is 7mm (1/4 inch) thick or the thickness of orange peel.
Lay dough on the quilt, cover with the rest of the sheet and the rest of the quilt. Let rise for two hours in warm weather, or for about 5 hours in wintertime. (You will see the loaves fluff up slightly.)
Place loaves one at a time directly on heated oven rack (first or second from the bottom) and bake for 4 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Broil to add colour to the tops of the loaves. As soon as you remove loaves out of the oven, minimally wipe with a damp cloth – this will add shine. Store in plastic bags when cool, and seal.
Double the recipe if you wish. It freezes exceptionally well.
Makes 6-10 loaves.
A Special Treat!
As soon as you roll out the dough, cut the flat circle into four pieces. Fry in a thin layer of hot oil, turning pieces over so both sides are golden in colour. It’s delicious with fried eggs or with Labany (yogurt cream cheese).
Chuck Farah said:
I can see the dough being spread out between the blankets … and now I can smell the hot bread being taken out of the oven!
If you’ve made it successfully then you have to make some for me when I visit you in Brazil! 🙂
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