If you’d told me I’d be taking a bite of homemade bread made by me and baked in a wood-fired oven in Morocco, I would have thought you were a dreamer, for sure. But that’s exactly what happened during a one-day excursion to the Ourika Valley near Marrakech with Chef Joanne Weir, author of numerous cookbooks, winner of James Beard International Cook Award, and host/writer/star of Plates and Places. I went to Morocco for Joanne’s one-week International Culinary Journey along with three other friends from Knoxville, and baking traditional Moroccan White Bread (Khobz) was just one of many treats of the week!
At the resort in Ourika Valley, we watched as Joanne, a familiar guest and visitor, washed her hands in preparation for bread baking.
Then she surprised everyone as she donned native attire and jumped into the role of Moroccan teacher and baker.
Staff members provided individual bowls, flour, and a few additional ingredients (yeast, water, salt and sugar). Then they provided tips and instruction on how to make a well, put the additional ingredients in the center, add water, and knead. The final step? Add a signature top so you could find your loaf among the many in the kiln.
When done, the loaves were placed on a wooden peel and thrust into the wood fire, a process that ensured a toasted exterior and a warm, but soft, interior for each round loaf. The loaves puffed up, about three inches each. And the crust turned a soft, toasty brown.
You can probably guess what happened next. We spent a few moments showing off our loaves to others and texting pictures home.
But then, we were ready for a warm, savory bite of the simple, crusty rounds of handmade Traditional Moroccan Bread!
If you are sheltering at home during the coronavirus, you, too, may have found the joy of combining simple ingredients for a special baked treat for your family. Here’s to each of you dealing with the pandemic and a wish for safety and good health from our house to yours.
Rusha & Bert
This post is one of a series of one-word prompts for April 2020 called Discover Prompts by WordPress. Enjoy!