We want to thank Yasmine and Khalil Bdeir for transporting us from the playground of Springside School to the Levant by making khboz, “bread” in Arabic, at Camp yesterday.
Yasmina woke up at 6am to make a veritable vat of dough from 10 pounds of flour, water, yeast, and salt. An experienced baker, she doesn’t measure the water but rather adds it little by little until it feels like the right consistency. Pita bread, which puffs up in the oven and leaves a pocket has less water than khobz and is consequently not as light and fluffy.
Khalil and his son Mokhtar, an Al-Bustan Camp counselor, built this wood-burning portable outdoor oven where we baked an abundance of bread.
The dough has to be gently kneaded into a large round circle.
The oven heats up stones sitting on top where Yasmine places the gently stretched khobz. While Yasmine and Khalil are Palestinian, there are many traditions that their home country shares with Lebanon, including this bread-making process.
The dough then bakes, covered, for about 2 minutes on each side with the uneven stones leaving an imprint on the bread.
Some of the teens placed their own dough on the hot rocks.
We then topped the khobz with olive oil and zaatar, a blend of dried thyme and oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Sahateen (“to your two healths” in Arabic) everyone!