Sunday, December 25, 2011

Khubzit Howsh--Homemade Bread

As much us Libyans love our pasta, we equally love our bread. So much so that often we eat bread WITH our pasta. As far as I can remember my mother always baked her own bread. Grocery loafs were rarely purchased. During community picnics or gatherings my mother was always responsible for making the bread. All bias aside, my mother (MASHALLAH) makes the best bread. This technique and recipe is hers. I learned from the best. Having said that, you'll notice that my mothers bread isnt all white. She is staunch about her ''healthy'' bread, making it 50% whole wheat. Depending on preference the ratio of wheat to white may increase or decrease.
      While super easy, it is time consuming and takes a bit of upper body strength. Kneading dough is a work out, but its one that pays off! The secret for fluffy bread is kneading the dough multiple times. 

What you'll Knead:
  • 8 cups bread flour
  • 8 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tlbs + 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbls + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3cups (warm) + 6.5 cups (water room temp) 
  • Olive oil 

What to do:
1. In a big, deep bowl add 3cups warm water, yeast and sugar and mix together. 
2. Leave for 10 mins and let the yeast ''activate.'' 
3. Add wheat and white flour and salt to bowl. 
4. Mix together to incorporate the salt into the dough. 
5. Slowly add water to dough as kneading 
6. Knead your heart out. Possibly for 10-15 mins to build the gluten. When the dough forms a ball, sticks together, and the edges of the bowl are ''clean'' you know you are done. 

7. the final product will look like this. Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 mins
8. The dough will have risen. Punch down and knead again for an addition 5-8mins. Cover again and let rest for 30mins. 
Side note: The dough will rise and expand to a very large size--dont worry that is normal. Make sure you use a big enough bowl.

9. Clean your counter top very well. Cover in a layer of olive oil for the bread to rest on.
10. Pre-heat oven to 550 degrees or the highest temperature allowed.
11. Pinch dough into balls and let rest on counter top. 

12. Here is a video so you can see exactly how I do it.

13. Make sure to pat the top of each dough mounds with olive oil. It keeps it moist and adds flavor. Leave mounds for 15mins to rest.  
14. Covering hands in olive oil, pick up a piece of dough flatten in hand before placing on stone

15. Place on stone and in a fanning motion spread dough to make a circle.

16. Poke with a fork 4-5 times to create air vents.
17. This is the ideal look of a loaf before it is baked
18. Allow to bake for 6-10mins till the edges begin to brown

Move to top rack to continue baking and so you can begin the next loaf.
19. Repeat steps 14-17 for the new loaf.
20. This is where it gets a bit tricky. You need to keep an eye out for the new loaf as well as the previous loaf on the top rack, it will begin to brown. 

21. Allow roughly 10 mins for the top rack loaf to brown. Remember to turn it so it browns all over. When ready remove from oven, brush with a bit of water and cover it in cloth. I use a table cloth. I fold it in half and put the loafs of bread in the middle, sandwiched. 
22. Continue steps 15 thru 22 for the remainder of the loafs till you've completed them. 
23. ENJOY!


  1. Very nice, thank you.

  2. the stone is supposed to be hot before you put the dough on it right?

  3. Put the stone in the oven at the start and allow it to heat up as the oven heats. It needs to be hot when you put the dough on it.

  4. Mashallah, Assia it looks very good.
    Mariam L

  5. Assia! This looks amazing. I don't have a pizza/bread stroke currently. Any suggestions as to what I should look for when I buy one? Can't wait to make this!

  6. For anyone who doesnt have a stone I suggest this one: remember to never wash your stone, just wipe it down. The more you bake on it the yummier your bread will be because it will ''season'' the stone. Similar to a wrought iron skillet.

  7. Ahahahaha... what you'll knead... awesome

  8. after the bread rises for the second time, do you punch it down before forming the balls?

  9. Yes you'll need to punch it down again so you can get an actual size of how much dough you have so you can form equal sized dough-balls.

  10. This seems like way too much bread for me, Can I halve the ingredients? And what's the best way to store the bread?

  11. ما شاء الله ... يسلموا إيديك ...
    بس ليش ما تكتبيش عربي ولا تحكي بالليبي بكل ؟؟

  12. My mother used to make these, only a smaller version. I'd like to replicate it but can you please clarify your first video in which youve stated to "knead" the bread, However in the video it doesn't look like kneading. looks like another technique. It looks like you're lifting the dough rather than kneading. ..