Saturday, 8 October 2011

Tuna, Harissa and Olive Stuffed Bread: Khbeiza bil Tonn فطاير تونة و هريسة

This recipe was chosen as FoodBuzz Featured of the day on 11th October!

Khbeizat are individual stuffed breads often served with tea to afternoon guests. They also make great dinner rolls, turning a bowl of soup into a substantial meal.  The dough  is easy to make and is shaped into mini-loaves, mini-buns, ping-pong sized balls or as crescents as in this recipe. Typical stuffings include white cheese and dried mint, or cheese and olives. Tuna and harissa however is by far the most popular sandwich filling in Libya, so the combination is just made for a stuffed breads like Khbeiza.

Makes 32 pieces
25 grams fresh yeast / 2 tablespoon dry yeast
75 gram melted butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups milk
3 1/2 cups flour (210 grams)
1 tablespoon salt
400g tuna (2 cans), well drained
Harissa (homemade or commercial) to taste
1 cup olives (pitted and chopped)

1 egg, beaten
Habet Baraka (Black cumin seeds/ Nigella seeds) or Sesame seed 

Crumble the yeast into a little warmed up milk and set aside, melt the butter and mix with the rest of the milk then leave to reach room temperature.

Place the flour and salt in your mixing bowl, add the milk and yeast mixture.

Pour in the butter and milk.

Knead to a dough with a soft and smooth consistency, cover and leave to rise (around half an hour).

Meanwhile drain the tuna, mash it with a fork and add harissa to taste.

 Pit and chop the olives and combine with the tuna and harissa.

Divide the dough into four equal balls

Roll each ball into a circle, then cut into 8 triangles.

Place a tablespoon of filling at the base of each triangle, rolling into a crescent shape as below.

Place the Khbeiza on a tray lined with baking paper, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle a pinch of Habet albaraka on each then leave to rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  

Bake in the middle of the oven at 225°C until golden, usually about 15 minutes

While Khbeizat are best served hot, this stuffed bread is also delicious at room temperature and more reminiscent of every Libyans favourite sandwich eaten that way.


  1. i like your pictures and would like to invite you to share them on

  2. Harissa, Tuna, Olives...what more could you ask for?? :)

  3. r u sure at 225C? its been there for 30 min and still not ready!!

  4. hey benghazeeya, so sorry I missed this comment for so long! Make sure you only put them in when the oven is hot, ie at the 225C mark already.

  5. Hi there, thanks for the brilliant recipe. Can I ask when you mention cup size for a measurement in your recipes, what size cup roughly would you use?

    When you say leave the khbeizah to rest in a warm place, would an indoor room temperature suffice?

    Also with regards to the 225C oven temperature, should this be decreased if it is a fan oven?

    Thanks :)

  6. Salam Karime,

    The volume for a cup used in recipes is around 200 ml, a typical teacup filled to the brim

    room temp. is fine the dough will rise, but as with bread or pizza if you can place it e.g. near a radiator, or in an airing cupboard

    With a fan oven you need to reduce recipe temp by 20°C, so around 200°C

    Hope they turn out well for you!

  7. Mashallah looks very yummy! I'll be making these for Ramadan, so thank you for this site!

  8. Those khbezat are so tempting! yum!