Here's a recipe from Melanie - I know we already have an ok-ish Moroccan bread recipe, but this one is a bit more authentic. However, every bakery/family does the bread a little bit differently. This recipe is heavy on the semolina flour, while others are more wheaty. It's also our first family-made video recipe!
Here's a video so you can see the steps, with the recipe below.
Makes about five round loaves of bread, approximately one inch thick and six inches in diameter.
1. Mix together flours. The below suggestion is my host family’s house recipe. I alter it by substituting some whole wheat flour sometimes; you can experiment with spelt if you like.
3 cups or 1/2 kilo of semolina flour (I use the Bob’s Red Mill variety from the co-op when I’m in the U.S.)
1 cup of white flour
2. Add the following to the flour mixture:
- generous Tablespoon of salt,
- about two teaspoons of seeds (I use white and black sesame seeds and anise seeds, but one could experiment with rye or other ingredients instead)
- about one Tablespoon of salad oil or melted butter
- yeast (I use about one packet or two teaspoons of dry yeast in the U.S. In Morocco, I use a couple generous spoonfuls of cake yeast.)
3. Pour some lukewarm water over the yeast, crumbling the yeast if using cake yeast and mixing it by hand in either case. Add water and knead bread until elastic dough forms.
4. Squeeze dough into balls about the size of a tennis ball, placing them one after another on a flat surface so that you can work with them in the order in which you formed them into balls (giving them a moment to rise and settle). This recipe usually results in about five balls of dough for me, but you can alter their size or number if you like.
5. Pick up the first ball in the line, and form it into a compact sphere by rolling it on a flat surface (or against the edge of a bowl).
6. Pour a little of the yellow semolina flour onto a flat surface (In Morocco, we use a qasriyya, which is the bottom half of a tajine dish. In the U.S., I just use my counter top). Set the first ball of dough onto the circle of flour, and pour a little more of the same flour on top. Now flatten the ball into a round circle, patting in a circular motion to create a round loaf of bread about one-half inch thick and about five inches in diameter.
7. Allow loaves to rise. In Morocco, we lay the loaves on a blanket and cover them with a thick coverlet to protect them from the cold. We leave them for about one hour before baking. In Austin’s hot weather, I can leave the loaves to rise under a light towel. In colder weather, I have tried letting them rise in a barely warm oven for about twenty minutes. I’m still experimenting for the best method.
8. When risen to about 1” thick, bake in oven about one-half hour at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. BEFORE placing loaves in oven for baking, run a fork over them (about five times per loaf) to make some holes to ensure even cooking.