Moroccan Bread: A Step-by-Step Recipe

Tea with mint, dates, chicken couscous or Moroccan bread with honey is all you need for a culinary Moroccan adventure. Learn how to make Moroccan bread in this article!
Moroccan Bread: A Step-by-Step Recipe

Last update: 04 July, 2021

Moroccan bread has a very characteristic oval, flat, and thin shape. Its taste and aroma are delicious and easily recognizable in any corner of the country.

Are you curious to discover it?

Then we encourage you to prepare any of the recipes below!

Batbout: The traditional Moroccan bread

One of the most important foods in the daily life of Moroccans is bread. Many make it homemade daily for the whole family and it’s usually present at every meal.

And although each region has its typical version, one of the most ubiquitous is batbout. Also known by the name matlouh, it’s common in other Maghreb countries, such as Tunisia or Algeria.

When it’s small in size, it’s very similar to pita bread or English scones. For this reason, it’s perfect when you want to fill it, prepare a variety of sandwiches or melt some butter on top.

The recipe to make it’s simple and its ingredients are common in the kitchen: flour, oil, yeast, water, and salt. The characteristic detail is provided by the semolina, which also gives it an unmistakable texture and flavor.

To prepare it, you don’t even have to turn on the oven since it’s typically cooked in a frying pan or on a very hot griddle.

Moroccan bread recipe

With this recipe, you get a very fluffy and soft bread that you can use both to accompany meals and to prepare sandwiches and toasts.

Ingredients needed for about 12 portions

  • 4.93 oz (140 grams) of flour
  • 1 cup of very fine semolina
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry baker’s yeast. You can change it for 0.7 oz (20 grams) of fresh yeast to make bread
Bowl of semolina
The semolina is the distinctive feature of Moroccan bread, in addition to the fact that you don’t have to turn on the oven to prepare it if you prefer to cook it in a hot pan.

Step by step in the kitchen

  1. To begin, mix in a bowl the yeast with the sugar and a little warm water. Stir well and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes until the bubbles come out.
  2. Then, prepare the dough. You can do this step by hand or with a kneading machine if available. In both cases, you must follow the same order with the different ingredients.
  3. Add it to a bowl or in the bowl of the machine the semolina, flour, butter, salt, and yeast mixture. Add water little by little while working so that everything is well integrated. The time is usually about 15 minutes minimum.
  4. Once prepared, remove it from the bowl and place it on the kitchen counter. Cover with a cloth and let stand 10 minutes.
  5. After this time, divide it into 4 more or less equal portions and form balls with each piece. In this step, it’s very helpful to sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough to prevent it from sticking to your hands when working.
  6. The shape of this bread has to be a flattened circle. To obtain it, flatten the balls with your hands and place them on a baking tray lined with kitchen paper.
  7. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to rest for 45 minutes so that it rises a little more.
  8. Turn the oven on at 250 degrees Celsius with heat above and below. When it’s hot, introduce the Moroccan bread and let it bake until the surface is golden brown.

Another possibility to bake the Moroccan bread is in a frying pan or griddle. It must be very hot before placing the bread on it. It’s placed over medium heat and you must turn them over 3 or 4 times when the dough begins to swell.

Moroccan bread stuffed with peppers and carrots

A perfect preparation to enjoy at lunch or dinner with bread very similar to an empanada. If you accompany it with a tea, you’ll taste it in the same way as it’s made in Morocco.

Ingredients to make the dough

  • 17.6 (500 grams) of flour
  • 380 milliliters of water
  • 3.5 (100 grams) of fine semolina
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast to make bread
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the stuffing

  • 1 onion
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper
  • Paprika to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika

Elaboration process

  1. To begin, prepare all the vegetables. Wash, peel and cut into small pieces the onion and peppers. Wash, peel, and grate the zucchini and carrots.
  2. In a frying pan with olive oil, fry the onion with the peppers. Then add the peeled garlic clove, the parsley, the minced meat, the spices, and the grated vegetables. Cover and leave the stuffing on the stove until it’s well cooked.
  3. In a separate bowl add the flour, semolina, salt, yeast, and oil. Knead well together with water. Cover with a cloth and let it rest until it doubles in size.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll out with a rolling pin to obtain thin circles. Place in a mold. Add half of the filling and cover with another part of the stretched dough.
  5. Pierce with a toothpick and place in a hot oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes.
  6. Fill the remaining two balls with the same process. Place in a frying pan, sprinkle with the cheese, and let it heat until it melts.
bread
There’s a traditional form of Moroccan bread, but you can mold it according to your tastes or needs of the moment.

What else to keep in mind when cooking and tasting Moroccan bread

Bread is a staple food in the Mediterranean diet, although the false belief and myths that it’s fattening may have reduced its presence on many tables.

However, it has a place in a balanced and varied dietary pattern, because when it’s of high quality it’s a healthy product. In addition, whole wheat bread provides fiber, a little protein, and B vitamins.

So one of the best ways to control the ingredients that are added and the elaboration process is to prepare them at home. Not only the most common sliced bread, but also some that are typical of other countries, such as bread from Morocco.

The typical shape of the batbout is flat and circular. On the other hand, it can be made larger or smaller depending on the use to which it’s to be put and the preferences of each person. If they’re a little thicker, they’re perfect for stuffing.

If you don’t have much time and you want to make good use of the hours in the kitchen, there’s the possibility of preparing a larger quantity and freezing it. When it’s time to eat it, just defrost it and give it a little temperature to restore its texture.

To eat it’s perfect with cheese, butter, jam, or a little honey. If you prefer to taste the stuffed version, it also admits other possibilities, such as adding tuna, olives, hard-boiled egg, or chicken.

However, our last recommendation is to use it in the most typical way. Thanks to its texture, it’s a perfect fork with which to eat any kind of dish: from couscous to lamb stew or salad.

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  • Mazouz M. Un viaje gastronómico por el norte de África. Editorial Intermón. 2001.