This one dough can be used to prepare several types of bread in a number of different shapes: a braided loaf, like a challah for Shabbat, the traditional Tunisian loaf, called bouchouka, which has an oval shape with pointed ends and a fat middle, and Grandma’s kishlaya- a long dough cylinder scored at even intervals with a sharp knife and rolled into a spiral, creating the shape of a flower.
Ingredients for Tunisian Bread
- 8 cups (1 kilogram) all-purpose flour extra for kneading
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Dry yeast or 5 tablespoons (50 grams) fresh yeast
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 ½ cups water lukewarm
- ½ cup oil
- 1 egg yolks beaten with a few drops of water
- Sesame seeds to garnish
Prepare the Dough:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
2. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of lukewarm water and mix well.
3. Add the flour mixture, the remaining water, and the oil, and knead to a smooth, elastic dough, about 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough doubles in size, about 1 ½ hours.
Shaping and Baking:
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 4-5 minutes. Divide into 8 balls of equal size. Flatten a dough ball using the palm of your hand until you feel air bubbles popping. Form the dough into an oval-shaped loaf and pinch the edges to create an elongated loaf with pointed ends. Use scissors or a sharp knife to score the surface with several diagonal cuts.
5. Transfer the loaf to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Cover the loaves and let rise for 15 minutes.
7. Brush the loaves with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
8. Bake 40-45 minutes. The loaves are ready when they are golden and make a hollow sound when you tap on the bottom.
Make it vegan: brush the loaves with 1 tablespoon flour mixed with 4 tablespoons water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.