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Khoubz 3chaïr Algerian barley bread

Greetings friends!
Recette en français ci-dessous
Islamic teachings and Hadiths emphasize the preference of barley bread over wheat bread. The Prophet's 8th successor, Imam Reza (may Allah be pleased with him), says in this regard: barley, when consumed removes all pains from the body. Barley is the food of the Prophets and pious people.

Today science is beginning to discover the miraculous advantages of barley. Laboratory research shows that barley and bran possess a special kind of fibre called Beta-Glucan which firms up the immune system of the body and heals wounds swiftly. Exclusive anti-oxidants inside barley lessen the risk of coronary and heart diseases to a great extent. Barley is considered the best food for diabetes since it possesses high amounts of fibre and reduces body cholesterols.

During the period of the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon hiù) the people either used to eat the barley bread or to mix the wheat flour with barley flour to prepare the bread generally. Children used to sell the preparation from beet roots and barley at the gate of Masjid-e-Nabwi on every Friday and it is said that holy companions liked this preparation as much as they used to wait for Friday eagerly.

Ummul Manzar states that the Prophet Mohamed(peace be upon him)  came to our house, we had the dates and those were presented to them. Both of them ate from those dates.

When Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) consumed a little of those, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said "You recently recovered from illness, hence you are weak, hence don’t eat more. Therefore, that lady prepared a dish from barley and beet root. Then, the Prophet Mohammed(peace be upon him) told Ali "eat from it, it is better for you". (Ibn-e-Maja, Sanad-e-Ahmed, Tirmizi)

It is narrated from a person called Suwaid bin Ghuflah, who says that once when he visited the Prophet's first  successor, Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), he saw a bowl of yoghurt placed before him along with a piece of barley bread. The Imam broke up the barley bread and putting the pieces inside the yoghurt bowl offered it to Suwaid who excused himself, since he was fasting. Suwaid says that when he told the Imam's housemaid, Fizzah that why she didn't prepare bread from refined flour, she said: “we have done this before, but the Imam Ali wants to have the bread this way." Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who overheard the talk between Suwaid and Fizzah, said: Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) never took bread of refined flour and never ate any bread except barley bread.

The dark wholemeal bread is recommended by experts for its nutritional values and its benefits on human health. Here in Algeria, once considered a low-end product, had disappearred almost completely in the last few decades according to consumption patterns.  The "black bread" or the bread made with wholesome barley flour has now ubiquitous followers who enjoy it and bakers have retorted to preparing it for the masses. The invasion of the rotary kiln and articifal leaveners which once flooded the bakeries in crispy white bread sticks, seems to have not elimated the demand  of good old country breads like Kersa, Khoubz chaïr, Khoubz el Dar and Matlou.

In fact, Algerians under the advice of nutritionists and doctors shift gradually back to the country breads that are prepared skillfully with full durum wheat, barley, rye, bran - without extraction of the husk, which gives it its dark color and name. Wholemeal bread which is distinguished by its rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, is recommended by experts for its nutritional values and its benefits on human health . Also, many people, especially the elderly or those observing a diet, prefer the bread made with the wholemeal flours. Unfortunately the white bread loaf is still a staple in many Algerian families due to the ignorance of thinking  many stomaches are "too weak to digest the the wholemeal"

The demand in recent years has offered a lesson to the 'black bread' lovers ... to come early to buy the bread or arrive home empty handed. And many are quick to notice that the barley bread "is less dark" because probably containing less barley meal then in years pasrt. The percentage has probably declined to meet growing demand and to meet technical standards for preparing the dough. But all the same personally I think the quality should remain the same. Barley meal is indeed low in gluten, so adding a wheat flour would make it easier to bake a loaf ressembling the white wheat loaves. Otherwise, the bread of barley would be more like a traditional kesra (also called khoubz ifter)

'Black bread' here in Algeria sell between 10 and 50 DZD a loaf.  The production of these speciality loaves  is so lucrative that seemingly small specialty bakeries have even emerged in some parts of the capital specializing in wholemeal baked products. But again, in my opinion, it is always better to make your own ... so today I present you all with a easy wholemeal loaf to prepare for your families. May you all find health and preserve traditions.

Recette en français ci-dessous
Khoubz chaïr
  • 500g - 2 cups of barley flour (farine de chaïr)
  • Handful of cracked barley pearls (chaïr)
  • 250g - 1 cup whole wheat flour (farine de ghemkh)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS yeast
  • about 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • water
  • wheat bran or cracked barley for topping
  • Semolina, cracked barley or cornmeal for the baking sheet
  1. Develop the yeast in a little water;set aside for 1 minutes.
  2. Sift the flours together in a large bowl.
  3. Add now the barley grains, oil, yeast solution, salt and remaining water.
  4. Knead the dough vigorously together for about 5 minutes until a very stiff dough is formed.
  5. Still in the mixing bowl, dust with flour, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for one hour.
  6. After one hour, punch down the dough and re-knead for another 5 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
  8. Form two long baguettes from the dough by rolling the rounds of dough with the palms of your hands against the board enlongating and stretching the dough until you have the form you like.
  9. Sprinkle a parchment lined baking sheet with cornmeal, semolina or cracked barley, then place the dough on the sheet.
  10. With a pastry brush, brush alittle bit of water over the dough.
  11. Sprinkle the dough with the bran covering it well.
  12. With a sharp knife, make slits on the top of the dough.
  13. Allow to rise again for 2 more hours covered with a clean kitchen bowl.
  14. Now bake at 240° in a pre-heated oven for one hour or until golden.
Khoubz chaïr
  • 500g - 2 tasses de farine d'orge (farine chaïr )
  • Poignée de perles d'orge concassé (chaïr)
  • 250g - 1 tasse de farine de blé complet (farine ghemkh)
  • 2 cuillères à soupe d'huile d'olive
  • 1 1 / 2 c. à thé de sel
  • 1 sachet de levure culliere
  • environ 1 1 / 2 tasses d'eau chaude
  • le son de blé ou d'orge craqué pour la garniture
  • Semoule, orge fissurée ou de semoule de maïs pour la plaque
    - Développer la levure dans un peu d'eau et mettre de côté pendant 10 minutes.
    - Tamiser la farine ensemble dans un grand bol.
    - Ajouter maintenant les grains d'orge, d'huile, la levure, le sel et l'eau restante.
    - Pétrir la pâte énergiquement ensemble pendant environ 5 minutes jusqu'à obtenir une pâte très rigide est formé.
    - Toujours dans le bol, saupoudrer de farine, couvrir avec un torchon propre et laisser lever pendant une heure.
    - Après une heure, le punch, écraser la pâte et re-pétrir pendant encore 5 minutes.
    - Diviser la pâte en deux parties égales.
    - Formez deux baguettes longues de la pâte en roulant le tour de la pâte avec les paumes de vos mains contre le conseil enlongating et étirer la pâte jusqu'à ce que vous avez sous la forme que vous voulez.
    - Saupoudrer un parchemin plaque à pâtisserie recouverte de semoule de maïs, la semoule ou de l'orge concassé, puis placer la pâte sur la feuille.
    - Avec un pinceau à pâtisserie, badigeonner d'eau sur la pâte.
    - Saupoudrer la pâte avec le son qu'il couvre bien.
    - Avec un couteau , faire des fentes sur le dessus de la pâte.
    - Laisser lever à nouveau pendant 2 heures supplémentaires couvertes avec un bol de cuisine propre.
    - Maintenant cuire au four à 240 ° dans un four (préchauffé )pendant une heure ou jusqu'à ce que doré.
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  1. This is one of my favourite bread, in Morocco we call it Mahrach.
    Yours sounds healthy and I'm sure tastes so good!
    Tbark lah 3lik,

  2. This bread looks yummy and healthy!!!

  3. Lovely bread..looks yummy !! Thanx for stopping at my space and expecting ur lovely entries for the event.

  4. Thank you Mamat Kamal DD and Sobha for commenting. And also the comments are so kind! =) kisses

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