This recipe was originally published on January 24th 2018
Ah bread, the corner stone of the North-African Diet. It’s true, Moroccans eat bread like none other. It’s made every morning, by most mamas at home and every kid who grew up on the tip of Africa knows that his mom’s bread is the best. I’m no different. However, I do think that my Moroccan bread kicks butt.
You know why? It’s my mom’s recipe.
In North-Africa, bread is a sacred commodity. I remember as a kid, my grandma used to tell me to never cut more bread than what I intend to eat. She didn’t want me to waste bread, or any food for that matter. And it is understandable, bread solved many problems in the past.
That’s why in morocco, most moms teach their kids to make bread. Bread turns your house into your home. Plain and simple.
When I was 19, in my first summer vacation in Morocco, I asked my mom to teach me her recipe before I go back to Montréal.
I missed her bread, and the smell that used to fill the house at noon and said to me: “Lunch is almost ready”
What makes Moroccan bread different?
Called Khobz, Moroccan bread is kind of unique yet very familiar in taste and texture. Moroccan bread, or at least the recipe I am sharing with you today, is kind of a cross between focaccia and your classic country bread.
It’s a very simple and beginner friendly recipe. Moroccan bread does not require hours and hours of rising for it to be ready to bake. Remember, this is made and baked at home almost every day, and North-African women had to adopt a more practical approach when it comes to making bread.
Therefore, this recipe only requires 45 mins to 1 hour to rise and be ready for the oven.
How to make Khobz ?
This dough is close to a NYC pizza dough. It’s soft, but strong and does not require a lot kneading. Here is what you will need to make it:
Flour: if this is the first time you are making this bread, I recommend using all purpose flour. You can of course use other kinds later on, like whole wheat flour or even barley flour which is a popular choice in Morocco.
Semolina: this lends a lot of strength to your dough. Semolina will help your dough get very strong and get a very crispy outer layer.
Salt: is essential to make sure that your bread is flavourful. Salt also helps with preservation and helps control the speed at which your bread rises.
Warm water: your water should not be hot. It should be lukewarm. Making sure that it is just lukewarm helps kickstart your rise and makes the kneading process a lot easier.
Yeast: I use quick rise yeast. You can of course use other option. The traditional choice is fresh baker’s yeast. However, if you are in North America like me, you will know that it’s an ingredient that is very hard to come by.
As far as the steps go, this recipe is pretty simple.
First thing you will want to do is to bloom your yeast. This basically just mean dissolving your yeast in warm water and waiting for it to bubble. Once it starts bubbling, you know that your yeast is alive and kicking.
- Next you will want to mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Next add your water and yeast mixture. Mix your dough either using your hands or a sturdy big spoon. As the first photo shows, the dough will be roughly put together. Don’t worry about shaping it for now. Just cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes. This will allow your dough to hydrate and for it to relax.
- After 15 minutes, take your dough out of the bowl and shape it into a ball. Place it back in the bowl and let it rest again for 10 minutes.
- Divide your dough into 2. Drizzle some semolina on a work surface and flatten your dough. Shape it into a circle that is about 1″ thick. Drizzle a parchment paper lined baking sheet with semolina and place your dough on it. Cover your dough with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour max.
To bake: uncover your baking sheet and bake at 450F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Moroccan Bread is served on every possible occasion you can think of. It’s served during breakfast with some butter and jam. And it’s usually served as a side with many different kinds of tagines.
Try it with my speedy Moroccan Lemon Chicken
Or maybe with this Authentic Moroccan Lentil Soup.
Moroccan Bread Recipe
Moroccan Bread is best described as a cross between foccacia and a classic country loaf. It's ideal with tagines and also enjoyed on its own.
- 3 3/4 Cups Flour
- 1/4 Cup Semolina
- 2 Cups Water, lukewarm
- 1 Packet rapid rise yeast
- 1 tsp salt
Bloom your yeast: This basically just mean dissolving your yeast in warm water and waiting for it to bubble. Once it starts bubbling, you know that your yeast is alive and kicking.
Mix all your dry ingredients (flour, salt & semolina) in a large bowl. Next add your water and yeast mixture. Mix your dough either using your hands or a sturdy big spoon. The dough will be roughly put together. Don’t worry about shaping it for now. Just cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes. This will allow your dough to hydrate and for it to relax.
After 15 minutes, take your dough out of the bowl and shape it into a ball. Place it back in the bowl and let it rest again for 10 minutes.
Divide your dough into 2. Drizzle some semolina on a work surface and flatten your dough. Shape it into a circle that is about 1″ thick. Drizzle a parchment paper lined baking sheet with semolina and place your dough on it. Cover your dough with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour max.
Preheat your oven at 450F.
Uncover your baking sheet and bake your bread at 450F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool down for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy <3
I made this today and you are right, it is an easy recipe. I did have to add more flour to the mixer to achieve the right dough consistency. I also had to bake it five minutes longer for it to turn brown. My husband and I loved the taste. It was delicious. I make bread about twice a week and this will definitely be in my recipe rotation. Thank you for sharing!
Awesome! I’m so glad you guys liked it 🙂
Idriss, this recipe is sensational! And the results are to die for. I was too lazy to get out of the house and go to Akhavan or Adonis to get some bread (I too am from Montreal), and I devised to bake some instead. I am really glad I stumbled upon this gem. Thanks!
I’m glad you liked the recipe, Nathalie! Happy to read from a fellow Montrealer!
Tried it last night and it was delicious. Thank you.
My pleasure Mary! Glad you gave it a try 🙂
I love this! First time making bread and it turned out really well
Glad it worked out!
Hi Idriss, I’d like to try making this lovely khobz with whole wheat or barley flour as you mentioned. Is there a particular ratio of whole wheat/barley flour to all purpose flour that should be used or it customary to use 100% of either? I love a good hardy loaf of bread!
Hi Dina! You I advise you to do 50/50 whole/barley to white. Of course, you will have to add a little bit more water to balance it out. Let me know how it works out for you. Enjoy <3
Absolutely delicious my Moroccan husband is the happiest man on earth today. Thos recipe is easy and perfect!
Hi Sarah! Very happy to hear that it worked out well for you. Enjoy <3
Judy Walsh says
Lovely bread. I make it every week. So easy to make too. Ideal for my experimentation with middle eastern recipes.
Glad you liked it Judy! Check out our moroccan pita recipe (Batbout). Thank you for the feedback <3
Thank you for this recipe. If I want to use my homemade sourdough starter instead of the rapid yeast, what amount should I use?
Yes you can use sourdough for sure. If you were to do so, I would recommend a maximum 70% hydration ratio.
It is very very sticky , I’m not sure if it’s suppose to be that way but I will try anyway 😅
It may be that you added a little too much water ? If the dough is too sticky, just add a spirnkle of flour and that should take care of it.
Rita Camilo says
Hi, sounds like a lovely recipe. Just a question about the semolina, is it fine semolina or the coarser one?
Hi Rita! Fine semolina will work best, but you can use any kind really. It will make for slightly different texture, but it will still be good!
Linda L. says
Can this recipe be cut in half? We don’t eat a lot of bread and don’t have room in our freezer.
Yes it can for sure. Cut all measurments in half and it should work just fine.