Name and pronunciation: khubz [kh-oo-bz]
Description: flat bread
Country of origin: Iraq
This Iraqi version of flat bread resembles Indian naan a little. It is soft and a little chewy, and not dry and flaky like, for example, pita bread. It is absolutely delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Traditionally, it is baked on the walls of a cylinder-shaped, clay oven called “tanoor”, but this recipe is adjusted to make it effortlessly on a flat, non-stick pan you normally use to make pancakes.
8 large or 16 small servings • Preparation time: about 30 minutes • Rising time: 2 x 30 minutes
You can try different flour combinations. It will work each time with different types of flours, but taste and consistency will differ, so test and choose your favourite.
Use this tip for rising your dough quickly and efficiently.
Feel free to make more bread and freeze it. They defrost very quickly and stay as fresh as on the first day. Perfect!
Serve your khubz with zaatar, home-made hummus, or any other spread or paste. Tear a little piece or bread, fold it and use to take a bit of spread from a small bowl set in the middle of the table. If you are eating it with spices, wet it in oil first.
✽ 500 g all-purpose flour
✽ 250 g whole-wheat flour
✽ 1 cup warm milk
✽ 1 cup warm water
✽ 14 g dry yeast (two tablespoons or two little sachets)
✽ 1 tablespoon olive oil
✽ 1 tablespoon sugar
✽ 1-1½ teaspoon salt
First of all, mix water, milk, sugar and yeast in a small bowl to soak and activate the yeast. It will take about 15 minutes.
While you are waiting for the yeast to froth, mix both types of flour with salt and oil in a large bowl.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients.
Knead the dough for about 15 minutes. It needs to be slightly wet on the surface, but not sticking to the worktop. This is a perfect consistency. I admit, it is not my favourite dough to knead. It is rather hard to work, but if you add too much water at this stage, it will be very difficult to form your breads.
Form a ball from the dough, place it in a large ball and cover it with a tea towel, or even better, with a pot lid (not to allow any dryness on the surface). Put it in a warm place and let it rise for 2-3 hours.
After that time, it should be at least twice the size. If it is smooth and just a little bit sticky on the surface, it means you have made the perfect dough. Do not worry if it deflates and drops when you are taking it out, it is completely normal.
Form a large ball from your dough and split it into eight or sixteen equal parts. Take each part and roll in your hands to form a ball. Line them on a baking tray or a worktop to raise some more. Cover again with a tea towel or waxed fabric.
Once each ball has doubled in size, your bread is ready for baking! Heat up the pan on the highest setting (no oil needed) and start making flat breads out of dough balls. Traditionally, khubz are stretched and formed all by hand, but you can also use a roller pin to get it into shape quickly. They should be quite thin, since they will still rise a little won the pan. Do not forget to cover back the remaining balls, as they dry very quickly.
Once on a pan, your khubz will be ready very quickly. Within seconds you will see small bubbles forming on the surface. It is an excellent sign! Wait another minute or two, and flip it. Nothing easier, it holds shape very well.
During cooling down process, they will get a little wet, so do not stack them up, but rather lie them out on a tea towel and wait until they are cold and dry. Then you cab serve, store or freeze them.