Dissolve the yeast in 1/4
cup of the water. Add the sugar or honey and
let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the remaining water, oil, anise,
salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Gradually
stir in the remaining flour until the
mixture holds together.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the
dough until smooth and elastic, about 10
minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to
coat. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic
wrap and let rise at room temperature until
double in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours, or in the
Punch down the dough and divide in half.
Shape each piece into a ball, cover, and let
rest for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle a large baking sheet with
cornmeal or fine semolina or grease the
baking sheet. Flatten each dough ball into a
6" round. Some cooks flute the outer edge,
others leave it plain. Place the rounds on
the prepared baking sheet, cover, and let
rise at room temperature until double in
bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prick the dough around the sides with the
tines of a fork or a toothpick. Brush the
tops of the loaves with the egg white and
lightly sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Bake until golden brown and
hollow-sounding when tapped, about 30
minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Whole-Wheat Khboz: Substitute 1 cup
whole-wheat flour for an equal amount of
NOTES: The name of this bread is in
Ladino, the language of Sephardic Jews which
is a combination of Spanish and Hebrew and
written using the Hebrew alphabet. It is
traditionally served on Rosh Hashanah, the
rounded shape representing the cycle of the
year, but is also enjoyed by many Moroccans
on the Sabbath. Almonds and rose water are
sometimes added for Shavuot and Sukkot.