Good morning, readers! This post comes to you from one bright eyed and bushy tailed blogger on a Monday morning, no less. I all but skipped home on Thursday afternoon, delighting in the prospect of the upcoming Easter break. So far, I haven’t really been doing too much aside from catching up with some reading, but man, it felt good to luxuriate in a little bit of leisure time.
After my last Lebanese inspired post, I come to you today with a Moroccan flatbread recipe. Meloui, is a derivative of rghaif, but unlike msemen is round rather than square. It is a layered flat bread made from semolina and generous amounts of butter. The end result is a buttery and soft bread that is pretty similar to the Indian lacha paratha, but made with semonlina instead of wheat.
I’d never tried meloui before I made them, so as you can imagine there was lots of googling and youtubing beforehand. It didn’t seem too difficult, but as I realised shortly thereafter, not having a mixer with a dough hook made a bit of a difference. I am not really one for kneading (my upper body strength really isn’t anything to brag about), so I was on the floor with my bowl trying to knead with as much vigour as I could muster. I probably should have kneaded on a flourerd surface to make it easier for myself, but the thought only occured to me after.
The recipe I followed used yeast but I am unsure how authentic of an ingredient yeast is. I did find the mix slightly more resilient than the usual dough used to make roti, which I again wondered if it was down to the yeast. Perhaps I could have added more water, but I didn’t want to make it too runny. It’s all good and well to watch videos and read recipes but finding the right consistency is something that will probably come with more experience of making meloui.
However, despite all these setbacks, I was pretty pleased with the final result as they tasted pretty good. There is something also quite timeless about making your own bread. When you’re in that arduous process of kneading with your own hands, you do kind of get a sense of the generations of cultures and women before you who had been in the exact same position. So even though it took a little work, I will definitely be making these again!
Yield: approx 20-25 meloui
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Recipe adapted from About.Com
- 2 cups semolina
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup soft butter
- 1/2 cup semolina
1) Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the warm water and mix to form a dough. Add more water if necessary, but the dough shouldn’t be too sticky.
2) Knead by hand for 10 minutes (or 5 minutes if using stand mixer) until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3) Divide the dough into small balls roughly the size of golf balls, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
4) Once proved, take a ball of dough and place on a oiled surface. Use oiled hands to stretch and flatten the dough into a large a circle as possible. Dot the large circle with pieces of butter and a sprinkle of semolina.
5) Fold the dough up in thirds, like a letter. Bring the bottom side of the dough to the centre line, and then fold the top side down to cover the bottom side. Starting at one side, roll the dough up until it coils to the other side. Flatted the roll slightly. Then use oiled hands again to stretch and flatten the dough ball into a circle.
6) Heat a dry pan or skillet on a medium heat. Cook each meloui for about 5 minutes, turning over to each side a few times. The meloui should be golden brown in colour.
7) Remove from heat and serve either by itself or with a sweetener such as honey.