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Lebanese bread (Khoubiz)

Makes: 8 rounds
Cooking time: 4 - 8 minutes per round

1/2 oz (15g) fried yeast or 1 oz (30g) fresh yeast
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoom sugar
8 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water, add sugar and set aside in a warm place until it rises and foams - approx 10 - 15 minutes.

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and place in a warm oven for a few minutes to warm slightly.

Pour the yeast into a well in the centre of the flour and mix it in by hand, adding the water gradually. Knead well to a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board or cloth and continue to knead until it is smooth and shiny - approx 15 - 20 minutes.

Knead in 2 tablespoons of the oil, roll into a large ball and rub the remainder of the oil around the ball. Leave in the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise until nearly double its size - approx 1-2 hours. Turn the oven on to maximum heat at least 3/4 hour before cooking the bread.

Punch the dough down in the centre and draw edges to the middle to re-form the ball. Turn onto a floured board or cloth and knead for approx 2 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Flatten each ball on a lightly floured cloth and roll with a rolling pin into flat round shapes, about the size of a dinner plate and approx 1/4 in (6mm) thick. Place rounds on a floured cloth, cover with another floured cloth and set aside to again rise to nearly double their size - approx 20 - 30 minutes. Place a baking tray in oven for 5 minutes, remove and lightly rub with oil.

Place one round of bread on the baking tray and cook until it swells up in the centre and browns slightly - approx 4-8 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap in a cloth. Continue until all the rounds are cooked.

The bread should be white, soft and chewy. When cut in half it will form a pocket into which sandwich fillings of every description may be placed.






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