Basic Khobz (Arabic Bread)

Adapted by
May 2019
Yield: 5 rounds


1¼ cups 95ºF-water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon neutral oil, plus additional as needed
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
¾ cup bread flour
2 teaspoons salt


In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar; set aside 10 minutes, until foamy. Mix in oil. In a large bowl, combine flours and salt, forming a well. Add yeast mixture to well. Using a wooden spoon, combine until dough workable by hand. If dough is wet or sticky, add a few tablespoons flour. Transfer dough to a clean surface. Knead 10 minutes, until soft, smooth, and elastic. Perform window pane test to see if dough is ready. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 1½ hours, or until doubled in size. Punch dough down and divide into 4 equal-sized pieces. Take each piece and form into a smooth round. Place rounds on a floured surface and cover; rest at least 10 minutes. Heat oven to 500ºF. Place a sheet tray in oven and heat 5 minutes, until very hot. Coat each dough round with flour and flatten into a disk. Roll out each disk to ¼- to ⅛-inch thickness, and about 6- to 8-inches in diameter. Place dough onto a peel, transfer to heated sheet tray, and bake 3 to 5 minutes, until inflated and light gold.
Alternately, use the Saj technique. Invert a wok and set over medium flame. Heat wok until very hot. Stretch rolled dough with your knuckles to 10- to 12-inches in diameter. Carefully place dough on inverted wok and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and cook until light gold with brown spots on both sides.