Round, flat Arabic bread is served with most meals and is often used to pick up other foods. This common form of sustenance provides the backdrop for the section in which women describe their experiences of returning to the Arab world. The desire to connect with our homeland, in whatever ways we can, is as basic to us as the need to eat bread.
3 c. warm water
1 t. salt
1 T sugar (optional)
2 T dry yeast
3/4 c. wheat germ (alternate to using3 c. whole wheat flour)
unbleached white flour)
8 c. flour (3 c. whole wheat and 5 c. unbleached white)
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water in a large bowl. Add salt, sugar, and wheatgerm; gradually mix in three cups of flour, breaking up lumps with your hands. Continue adding flour, kneading as you go. Add more water as needed, using your hands to blend in flour from the sides of the bowl. When the dough is thoroughly mixed and has a smooth, moist consistency that does not stick to your hands, divide into 5-6 parts and form into orange-sized balls. To make smaller loaves, roll into balls that are egg-sized. If you wish to freeze dough. Roll balls in flour and place on cloth-covered flat surface allowing space to rise. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 475°.
Roll out as thick as you like on a floured surface, 1/8" for khoobz marouk (paper thin), or 1/4" for kmege (pocket bread). For khoobz marouk, gently stretch the dough over your hands, getting it as thin as possible. Here's where twirling and tossing in the air comes in. Watch pizza bakers for tricks