أغْرُومْ - الخُبْزْ/Moroccan Bread/Aghroum or Khobz/ Pain Marocain

In Morocco, a meal cannot be served without a fresh and nice bread.  We call it "Aghroum" = أغْرُومْ, in Moroccan Tamazight (Shalha), and "Khobz" =الخُبْزْ , in Moroccan-Arabic, and it is one of the most basic food in Morocco.  I grew up in a house, where my mother used to bake bread every single day except Friday, which is "Couscous Day", as she used to call it.  Though my mother had an oven where she could bake her bread at home, she had always preferred to send hers to "Faran or F'ran".

F'ran is a local and traditional community oven, built for communal use and are located in every district, village, city or neighbourhood, where dozens of loafs are baked at once.  So many breads would be baked at the same time.  So impressive!  When I was young I was so fascinated how "Mol L'fran" which means "F'ran's Owner" could remember everyone's bread.  You bring your bread to bake in "F'ran" between 9:00 and 10:00 AM and it should be ready by 12 o'clock for Lunch.  My mother explained to me that "Mol L'f'ran" has to mark each loaf with a rubber stamp so he could remember whom each loaf belongs to.  I still remember bringing my mother's bread to "Mol L'fran", carrying on top of my head called in Moroccan-Arabic "Wassla", a sort of wooden pan.  Lovely souvenirs! Actually, these "F'rans" still exists in Morocco and are widely appreciated by Moroccans.

In the word  "AGHROUM", the letters "gh" : "gh roum", together are pronounced like the French "R", similar to a gargling sound in the  back of the throat, like in the French word "Rivière".  On the other hand, the letter "r" in the word "Agh r oum" is pronounced like the English "R", as in the word "Rain".  While the word "KHOBZ", the letters "kh" : "Kh obz", together are pronounced like the Spanish "j", standing for the Arabic letter "خ ".   The (j) in Spanish is pronounced like the Arabic letter "خ ",  which is replaced in English and in French by the two (2) letters : "kh", and is pronounced in the mouth, but a little bit stronger and pushy as far back in comparison with the letter "k".  So "kh" in the word "KHOBZ" is pronounced the same way as the letter "j", in the famous Spanish singer name : Julio Iglesias.

Here is one of my mother's bread recipe, she always put some black seeds or anise or sesame seeds in her bread.  Absolutely delicious!  I’m submitting this post to Susan's Yeastspotting, a WONDERFUL BREAD BLOG devoted to yeast bread food. Please check it out!


-400 gr whole wheat flour / 400 gr de farine de blé entier

-200 gr all purpose flour / 200 gr farine tout usage

-1 teaspoon dried yeast / 1 c à thé de levure de boulangerie séchée

-Some salt to taste / Un peu de sel, au goût

-30 ml olive oil / 30 ml d'huile d'olive

-1 tablespoons caster sugar / 1 c à soupe de sucre semoule

-2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds / 2 c à soupe de graines de sésames moulus

Method / Préparation:

1-Put dried yeast, sugar, and about 4 tablespoons warm water in a bowl, mix well, cover and leave until bubbles appear on the surface (about 30 minutes). / Diluer la levure, sucre, environ 4 c à soupe de l'eau tiède .  Bien mélanger et laisser reposer environ 30 minutes. Normalement, il doit y avoir des bulbes qui se forment à la surface du mélange de la levure.

2-Put flour in a large bowl or Kasriya, make a well in the centre and add, salt, the yeast mixture, ground sesame seeds and oil, then mix well with your hands, adding gradually warm water. Mix well to a soft dough.  Turn it out onto a floured surface or keep it in Kasriya and knead with hands for about 15 to 20 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it turns out too sticky to work with, just add some flour and keep kneading.  If the dough feels a bit stiff, work in additional water, small quantity at a time and keep kneading.  / Dans un grand bol ou Kassria, mettre la farine, faire une fontaine et ajouter sel, mélange de levure, graines de sésames moulus et l'huile, bien mélanger avec les mains.  Ajouter graduellement de l'eau tiède et former une pâte .  Bien pétrir sur un plan de travail ou dans Kassria pendant environ 15  à 20 minutes jusqu'à que la pâte soit souple et lisse mais pas collante.  Si elle est collante, ajouter un peu de farine et continuer à pétrir mais si ell est dure, ajouter un peu de l'eau et pétrir de nouveau quelques minutes.

3-Divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal balls, depending on how big you want the loaf. Cover and leave them to rest for about 15 minutes. / Diviser la pâte en 2 ou 3 boules égales de la taille de votre choix. Couvrir et laisser reposer environ 15 minutes.

4- Sprinkle the working surface with flour and flatten each ball. Roll out each ball into a thin circle about 0.4 cm.  Transfer the bread to a slightly greased baking sheet.   Cover with a clean, dry cloth and let it rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. / Fariner un plan de travail avec un peu de farine et étaler progressivement les boules en cercles sur une épaisseur de 0.4 cm environ. Transférer-les sur la plaque allant au four légerement huilée.  Couvrir avec un autre torchon propre et sec. Laisser reposer entre 45 minutes à 1 heure.

5-Preheat the oven to 200°C. / Préchauffer le four à 200°C.

6-Make slashes or poke the dough with a fork or knife . / Faire des incisions ou piquer avec une fourchette ou couteau.

7-Bake the dough in an oven for about 30 to 45 minutes or until it’s golden brown./ Cuire le pain pendant 30 à 45 minutes ou jusqu'à qu'il soit bien doré.

8-Transfer the cooked bread to a rack to cool. / Laisser refroidir le pain sur une grille après la cuisson.

9-Enjoy / Bssa7a w ra7a!


Arlette said…
My friend ,
this is a great delicious bread...I am Arabia too, and cannot live without warm bread with my food...

thanks for sharing...
Oumsara Ilham said…
tbarkellah 3lik mamatkamal,khobz kaychahhi,bssahtik o rahtik,fin ghbourik hbiba,bisouus hbiba a+
Nadji said…
Un excellent pain très réussi.
Tu me donnes envie d'en faire assez vite.
A bientôt.
Unknown said…
un vrai regal .c est tres tres bien fait .bravo khadija c est bien reussi come toutes tes recettes merci pour le partage

Michele said…
This is really such beautiful bread!
cikmanggis said…
oh dear I love bread.I must try this recipe.Looks great!
Mimi said…
That bread just screams out for tagine. It's lovely!!
QIS said…
delicious looking bread!! first time heard bout "F'ran" , it is interesting!! :)
Magia da Inês said…
Olá, amiga!
Conheci seu cantinho e amei!
Lindo, criativo, nutritivo e delicioso... parabéns!
Um ótimo fim de semana!
Itabira - Brasil
Katy ~ said…
Such a wonderful bread...I love bread!

I am fascinated by the communal bread oven; I have only read about them. You answered my question about how they knew whose bread was whose (I was troubled by that question till now!), grins.

I picture you carrying the bread in the wooden pan and I smile at the sweet picture.
Joanne said…
I love learning about breads from all different cultures. I'll have to try this one!
mmhh, j'adooooore le pain marocain!!! C'est une réussite, bravo!
Laura in Paris said…
Looks delicious! I see them sold in speciality food stores .. but it's always best when it is freshly baked. I also like how you explain the tradition in Morocco.
Gaviota said…
Fantastic blog! Felicitations!!! I recently saw an episode of "Jamie Does" with Jamie Oliver in which he showed the communal bread ovens you mention in your post. He was fascinated by them too.

Good luck with your blog!

(If you haven't posted it yet, I would love to see the recipe for the Moroccan chicken. I had it last year with some Moroccan friends and it was frankly out of this world!)


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