Sunday, 30 August 2015

Khubza Bil Ashab

Just over a year ago this bun was the third bake on The Book of Buns facebook group.  I have very nearly caught up now.  This is just about the easiest bun and tastiest of buns.  You don't knead the dough, but just mix all the ingredients together, put the bowl in the fridge overnight, then when ready to bake, just form into buns, and put straight into the oven.  After first posting this, without the recipe, I contacted the Author Jane Mason, and she has given her permission for me to post the recipe below.  So whether you have baked bread or not before, try this one.

With chopped olives, olive oil, red onions, lots of chives and parsley from the garden, and a few seeds, these are great with a nice bowl of soup, and really just on their own.  I can really understand that in Libya, where they come from they are eaten as a late night snack, with tea and lots of chatter.

This herb bread requires no kneading at all, and its the perfect finger food at parties and picnics and will be a winner in any lunchbox.  Jane's descriptions like this one at the head of each recipe gives an insight into each type of bun. ( I have added extra comments, which may help)

Day One: making the dough

The night before you would like your bread, put everything into a big mixing bowl, (it will rise overnight, so use a large bowl) and stir well.  Cover with clingfilm and pop it into the fridge.  Allow to rest until the next day.( You could do this first thing if you are baking late at night)

600g strong flour, which can be white or wholemeal or a mixture
3g instant, or 6g dry yeast, or 12g fresh yeast
12g salt or cut down to 8g if you are using olives
50g olive oil
500g water just from the tap/room temperature
any combination of diced olives, chopped spring onions, or onions red or white, crumbled feta cheese, a few handfuls of fresh herbs, pinch of paprika, zahtar or other spices.

Day two: shaping and baking

Preheat the oven to 220C , Gas 7, Take the dough out of the fridge, and gently pull in out onto a floured surface.  Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, and then with floury hands, shape into balls.  ( Handle gently, so as not to knock all the air out of them). Transfer on to 2 baking sheets, lined with baking parchment.

Pop them immediately into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. ( I needed a little longer, I baked them till they were browning on the bottom.  Once they are part baked, you can move them around on the baking parchment to ensure they are equally browned all round if the oven has an uneven temperature.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

I made 20 smaller ones, and they freeze beautifully.  The dough is quite wet, not like usual bread dough, but don't worry.  You could always make half the quantity the first time you try these.  You could add a few seeds or other cheese, I used just over one handful of herbs, but it could have taken more. I love them zapped in the oven for 5 minutes if you want a nice warm snack.

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