Khubz (Arabic Flatbread) Recipe
Khubz, the Arabic Flatbread or pita bread, is a staple in Middle Eastern diets. It is traditionally cooked in a brick oven, but can be baked in a very hot modern oven.
Inspired by The Moses Expedition
Prep Time: 45 minutes Rise Time: 1 1/2 hours Cook Time: 3-5 minutes Yield: 16 loaves
- 3 1/2 cups water, lukewarm (110°F)
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour (may use a bit more)
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- To proof the yeast, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm (110°F) water. Add sugar and yeast and set aside for 10-15 minutes. If mixture is not frothy then yeast is not good, so discard and begin again.
- Stir in remaining 3 cups of water. Mix in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- Mix in salt and olive oil and add flour about 1/4 cup at a time gradually until dough holds together in a soft ball (you may not need to use all the flour.)
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand or 5 minutes with electric mixer for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add a bit of flour while kneading if dough is sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl turning once to coat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down and divide in half. Place one half section back in bowl and cover. Divide the other half section into about 8 sections and roll each section between your palms to form a ball. Keep the sections and the balls covered with a dry cloth while you’re working to keep dough from drying out. Repeat with remaining dough half.
- Before rolling out dough balls, lay two clean cloths on a flat work surface and dust lightly with flour. You will lay the rolled out dough rounds on these cloths. Take 2 more clean cloths and lightly dust one side with flour. You will use these to cloths to cover the rolled out dough. This procedure is necessary to keep the dough from sticking and pulling apart. Now you are ready to roll out the dough.
- Take a dough ball (keep resting dough balls covered) and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness about 7 to 8-inch diameter round. Flip dough over to ensure both sides have a light dusting of flour. Place dough on the prepared flour-dusted cloths (step 6) then cover with another floured cloth. Roll out remaining dough balls. Be sure to allow about an inch between each dough round. It is very important that the dough rounds not stick to any surface or to another dough round. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500°F. Place 2-3 dough rounds on a lightly greased baking stone or baking sheet about 1-inch apart and bake for 3-5 minutes. The bread will puff up like a balloon while baking. Remove from oven when tops just begin to barely brown. Do not overcook, otherwise bread will be crispy. We want it soft. Wrap in clean cloth to keep warm. Bread will flatten. Repeat process with remaining dough rounds.
The khubz can be frozen for 2 to 3 weeks and pulled out as needed. Just warm and soften in oven for a couple minutes.
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