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Moroccan Bread with Sesame and Nigella Seeds - Khobz Mzaweq

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Moroccan Bread with Sesame and Nigella Seeds - Khobz Mzaweq

Moroccan Bread with Nigella and Sesame

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This Moroccan bread (khobz) is flavored with semolina, sesame and nigella seeds. The top is scored with a design, brushed with an egg yolk wash and then dusted with more seeds and – hence its name, khobz mzaweq (decorated bread).

You can vary the bread by using other flavor seeds alone or in combination; you can change the ratio of white flour to semolina, or use only white flour. Khobz Mzaweq is best served for breakfast, tea time or with coffee. It can also be used to make sandwiches.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Resting and Rising Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: One 11" to 12" loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fine semolina
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (approx.) warm water
  • additional flour for kneading
  • semolina or oil for the pan
  • --- for the garnish ---
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Preparation:

Prepare a baking sheet by oiling the center, or by dusting the pan with a little semolina.

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Make a large well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg, yeast, oil and water. Mix to dissolve the yeast first, and then mix the entire contents of the bowl to incorporate the wet ingredients with the flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and begin kneading the dough. If necessary, add flour or water in very small amounts to make the dough soft and pliable, but not sticky. Continue kneading for 10 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a smooth, circular mound and place onto the prepared pans. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

After the dough has rested, use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough into a large circle about 1/4" thick. Cover with a towel and leave to rise about one hour, or until the dough springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.

Preheat an oven to 435°F (225°C).

Lightly score the top of the bread with a very sharp knife to make a diamond shaped design. Brush the top with the egg yolk and sprinkle sesame seeds over the surface. Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is richly colored and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the bread to a rack or towel-lined basket to cool.

The bread will keep for one day at room temperature, or it can be frozen for up to a month.

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