Sunday, March 17, 2019

Babes Take the Road To Morocco

This month our challenge bread is a Moroccan flatbread Ksra brought to us by our wonderful Kitchen of the Month Kelly of A Messy Kitchen blog.

I enjoyed this bread because I eliminated the anise seeds (which is a flavor I don't care for at all) but that probably ruined it's Moroccan influence, too. Mine also rose enough that it didn't seem all that flat, but I liked that it was the perfect size to have a chunk of with soup or stew or, in my case, pasta with a tomato sauce and zucchini and basil.

I followed the recipe pretty closely except for eliminating the anise seeds and using some white whole wheat flour for part of the flour. I used barley flour, not rolled barley because I love bread made with barley flour. I did paint the top with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, but they mostly fell off when I served it, so I would recommend either skipping the seeds, or painting the loaf with egg white and sprinkling on the seeds. Egg white does a much better job of holding the seeds onto the crust.

I was expecting a loaf with more air holes, but even without that artisan appeal, the crumb was lovely and the flavor good for a bread made the same day. I put half the dough into the fridge and will bake it later in the week. I imagine it will have improved flavor.

This is a super easy loaf to actual kneading, very little shaping, no pan to clean, and you end up with nice fresh bread...what's not to like about that!

To be a Bread Baking Buddy, just make the bread, take a photo, and email Kelly by March 29th. She will send you a Buddy Badge (similar to the one above) created by our talented Elizabeth, and include you in the round-up.

Ksra (Moroccan Anise and Barley Flatbread)
from the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes two 7-8" rounds

340g (1 1/2 cups) lukewarm water (100 degrees F or less)
5 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) dry yeast
8.5 - 12.5 g (1 1/2 - 1 3/4 teaspoons) kosher salt
3.5g (1 1/2 teaspoons) whole anise seeds (I omitted these seeds)
46g (6 tablespoons) barley flour OR 35g (6 tablespoons) rolled barley
407.5 g (2 3/4 + 2 tablespoons) all purpose flour (I used 207g bread flour and 200g white whole wheat flour)

To make the dough:

Mix together the yeast, salt, anise (if using) and water in a large bowl or container. Stir in the remaining ingredients with a large wooden spoon, dough whisk, or in a mixer with the paddle. Mix until the flour is incorporated fully.

Cover and rest until the dough has fully risen and collapsed back down a bit, about 2 hours. At this point you can refrigerate or you can bake.

You may use the dough after the initial rise, but it's easier to work with cold. Dough will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.

To bake:

Divide the dough in half, dust with flour, and shape each portion into a ball by stretching the sides down to the bottom of the ball and olding under. You may also work with only on portion of dough if you like; the other will keep in the fridge for another day.

Flatten each ball into a 3/4" thick round and let rest on a parchment lined or cornmeal dusted pizza peel for 20-30 minutes. Optional to brush the surface with oil (or egg white?) and sprinkle with sesame seeds or more anise seed. Also optional to poke the dough with a skewer in a few places prior to baking. (I didn't poke, but did cut shallow cuts around the outer edge of the flt ball once it had risen.)

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a baking stone near the middle of the oven and a metal pan or broiler tray on an unused oven rack and heat a cup of water to use for steam while baking.

Slide rested loaf directly onto hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the metal pan or tray for steam and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until richly browned and firm.

Allow to cool before cutting into wedges to serve.


  1. Love how yours turned out with the scoring. Beautiful. And yep, this has been the most unflat flat bread I have ever made!

  2. It looks lovely! I imagine the white whole wheat made it slightly more dense. Love your decorative pattern!

  3. I got the impression that the aniseed wasn't necessarily used in every Moroccan bread, so you're probably okay. (I can certainly identify with your wish to omit the spice.)

    Your bread looks beautiful! And what lovely loft.

    I sprayed our pre-shaped loaves with water before adding the seeds. That seems to have helped them adhere.

  4. Very nice crumb and a beautiful loaf!

  5. You make it all sound so easy! And it looks perfect!

  6. Your bread looks perfect. From what I understand, this bread is meant to be a bit on the denser side and also rise that much even though its a flat bread.