Khubz Arabi – Freedom Bread

Khubz, khoubz or khobz (خبز), an Arabic word for freedom bread, but usually used by non-Arabic speakers to refer to a flatbread that forms a staple of the local diet in Arabic-speaking countries from the Arabian Peninsula to Morocco. Khubz was traditionally baked in a tannuur, and six recipes for khubz made in this way are included in Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s 10th century Kitab al-Tabikh cookery book.

In Iraq khubz is produced as a round flatbread. As a result of the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s there was an increase in the making of khubz in the traditional way in a clay oven.

Khubz Arabi (Pita or Flat Bread)
This recipe takes some time to accomplish, but the end result is a little magic in the kitchen and so satisfying as a cook! The cooking time is per batch - this makes 24 and you'll probably have to do at least 4 batches in your oven depending on the size (of your oven). At least, much of the prep time is inactive time while waiting for the dough to rise. All in all, they are pretty easy to make (if not on a time schedule)
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Cook time: 
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  • 2½ cups warm water
  • 2 x 7g packages active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. In a large bowl, scatter the yeast over the warm water and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add the salt.
  3. While kneading constantly, gradually add 6 cups of flour and 2 tablespoons of oil until the dough is smooth and elastic. Continue to add more flour if the dough still sticks to your hands.
  4. Put the dough into a large, greased bowl and turn dough to grease all sides of it.
  5. Cover with a dry tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  7. Punch dough down gently.
  8. Divide the dough into 24 equal portions and shape them each into smooth balls.
  9. Place on a floured surface and dust tops lightly with flour. Cover with a dry tea towel.
  10. Let rest undisturbed 15 minutes more.
  11. Roll out each ball into a 15 cm diameter circle.
  12. Place on greased baking sheets.
  13. Bake in 190°C oven for 10-12 minutes or until the bread puffs. Do not leave baking unattended

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