Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anna Sultana's Hobz - Maltese Bread l Quick Cheese Pizza

Like I said, maybe Carmela just popped into
a good Italian bakery for a few loaves of
Italian bread.
In New York, Italian bakeries are a dime a dozen compared to Maltese bakeries.
Ma had no choice.
If she wanted a taste of home, she had to bake it herself.

And so can you.

Don't get excited by the number of loaves.
Hobz loaves are small.
Orange-size balls of dough can only get so big.
Well, good things come in small packages.

A small hint:  While kneading the dough, dip your hands in water to give the 
dough a smooth elastic finish.


Makes 7 - 9 loaves 

In a small bowl, pour
1/2 Cup warm water (@ 110º F)
Sprinkle over the water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
Let stand about 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve.

In a large bowl combine
2 teaspoons salt 
6 Cups flour
Make a small depression in the center.

Combine in a small bowl
1/3 Cup milk
1 1/2 Cups warm water (@ 110º F)
dissolved yeast/water mixture

Pour liquids into flour/salt depression.
Mix the flour with the liquids.
Make sure to knead in all the flour.
Knead until it is smooth and the sides of the bowl are clean.
Don't forget to occasionally dip your hands in water.

Cover dough with a towel and let rise in a warm place, about 3 hours.
Pull out orange-size balls and form into smooth balls.
Place them on a towel.
Cover with another towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Roll one piece into a 1/4-inch thick circle.
Place it back on the towel.
Repeat with remaining balls.
Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 475º 
Place dough directly on hot racks in oven.
As soon as dough rises into a mound (2 to 5 minutes), place under broiler 
for a few seconds until lightly browned.
Hobz freezes well.

Slice and serve, just like regular bread.

Or you can make a quick Cheese Pizza

In the side of a Hobz, slice a pocket 
In the pocket arrange slices of
fresh tomatoes
cheese (mozzarella is nice)
Sprinkle with
Place Hobz on a baking sheet.
Bake in a hot oven until the cheese is melted.


  1. Hi I'm a Gozitan living in Ireland and I'd like to try your recipe for the Maltese hobza as it looks very tasty. When you say to place the dough directly on the hot racks, won't the dough melt through the rack? Will it hold its shape or is it better to put on a baking dish or something of the sort?

  2. Hi, Judy,
    Nice to meet you. Ireland! We Maltese do get around!!
    The bread dough is solid (not like a pancake batter), and the contact with the hot oven grill will give it more of a traditional toasted crust. if you prefer it less crusty, use a baking dish. Hobz is at its best fairly fresh, so if you're not going to eat them within a day, freeze the extra loaves. They can get hard.
    Hope you had a nice Festa di San Guzepp!
    Sahha, Margaret

  3. Can you keep dough in fridge over night??

    1. Hello!
      Yes, you can. After you’ve kneaded the dough, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then place it in the refrigerator. The refrigeration time is considered the first rise.

      When you are ready to use the dough, remove it from the refrigerator, punch it down, and allow it to rest before shaping. The final rising will be longer because the dough will still be cool.

      The dough can also be refrigerated after it has been formed into loaves. Cover them tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, cover with a towel, and let them rise 45 minutes before baking.


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