I was looking for an easy way to make the large Yemeni khobz without the round drum over (tanour or maskhan). This is the recipe I came up with which uses a bread stone and a wooden peel inside of a regular oven. Alas, its not exactly the same, but the bread did come close. I think it bubbled up a bit too much and could have been thinner, so maybe next time I would use less yeast. I used regular bread flour because thats all I had on hand, but I would recommend experimenting with maybe a mixture of whole wheat and bread flour. There is another kind of flour which they use in the bread in Yemen but I dont know what it is called in English and it is probably not found at my local grocery store anyway. But if anyone does know about it, please feel free to leave info in the comments below.
1. Mix all ingredients together until combined.
2. Knead the dough until smooth and soft, about 15 minutes. You can do this using a bread hook attachment on a mixer, a bread machine, or by hand.
3. Cover the dough and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4. Then uncover the dough and break it into four equal pieces and shape it into a smooth ball, repeat with the other four. Cover it lightly with oil and plastic wrap and let it sit for 1-2 hours until the dough its soft and will stretch easily. 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the bread, preheat the oven and bread stone to 500 degrees F or as hot as your oven will get.
5. Now prepare the peel (wooden board) by dusting it with cornmeal. This is so the dough will slide off easily in the oven.
6. Take a dough ball and grab it between your thumb and pointer fingers with both hands. Then gradually watch the dough stretch out as you quickly rotate it with your fingers, working around the edge of the dough. (Note: This is not the usual way to toss out the bread. If you have a makhbaza, it will be easier to use that-makhbaza is the cone shaped tool covered with cloth that sticks the bread to the inside of the oven)
7. Stretch the dough until it is nearly see through, as thin and as large as you can get it, without getting bigger than your peel. If the dough is sticking to itself, dust it with flour.
8. Place the dough on the peel and shake it slightly to make sure that it moves. If it doesn’t, add more cornmeal to the peel.
9. Now quickly place the tip of the peel onto the stone and slide back the peel, leaving the bread on the stone. Close the oven and let the bread cook for 3-4 minutes. Poke down any large bumps with a fork as the bread is cooking, otherwise the bread will be too crispy.
10. Remove the bread from the oven and serve immediately or place directly in aplastic bag to keep it from getting hard. If you don’t want to make all the breads at once, you can store the extra dough balls in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for a few days.