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Having no local Arabic bakery, I have long hoped to learn to make good khoubz at home. Every time I try, however, my bread is too stiff and tough. I have been successfully making other breads using The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and now wonder if my bread woule benefit from an overnight ferment in the refrigerator.
FoodMan (and anyone) can you help me?
Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves.
50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
80 g honey
120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet)
2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon
230 g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts)
Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
Optional: more olive oil for brushing
Heat oven to 170 deg C.
In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform.
Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix.
Add nuts and fold until well dispersed.
On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough.
With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking.
Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely.
Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices.
Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden.
Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor.
Let chill completely before removing from tray.
Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea.
San Diego has a small number of artisanal bread bakeries. Bread & Cie has been my favorite for years, and their breads are now available in many supermarkets, which is very convenient. But it's nice to have some variety. So I was excited to spot a new bakery this weekend in Linda Vista. It's called Pacific Time and it is also a sandwich place with a small market with things like small-batch preserves, local beers, a cheese counter, charcuterie platters, and wine. It's located within a recently renovated strip mall that also hosts Brew Mart & Ballast Point.
The bread I bought was a French-type rustic boule, dark, a bit reminiscent of Poilane but less dense. The crust could have been a little more crispy (it felt like the bread had sat around a little bit and softened in the paper bag), but the flavor was wonderful.
Here is the bread:
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