Round Moroccan Meloui [Rghaif]
Comments: Meloui are round Moroccan pancakes [rghaif] that are shaped by rolling a folded strip of dough up like a rug, and then flattening the upright coil into a circle. They can be eaten plain or with a syrup made from melted butter and honey. Although it is not difficult, the technique to fold, roll and flatten the dough can be confusing if you have never seen it done. This recipe uses half semolina and half white flour; you can use all white flour if you prefer, but the texture and taste will be more like basic msemen.
  • 2 cups [280 g] flour
  • 2 cups [500 mL] fine semolina
  • 2 teaspoons [10 g] sugar
  • 2 teaspoons [10 mL] salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] yeast
  • Approximately 1 1/2 cups [375 mL] warm water
Needed to fold and cook msemen
  • 1 cup [250 mL] vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup [115 g] very soft butter
  • 1/2 cup [125 mL] semolina
  • Mix together flour, fine semolina, sugar, salt and yeast into a large bowl.
  • Pour in 1 1/2 cups [375 mL] warm water, and mix to form a dough, adding more water if necessary to make a dough that is soft and easy to knead, but not sticky.
  • If dough is too sticky to handle, add a little flour 1 tablespoon [8.75 g] at a time.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough by hand for 10 minutes, or knead dough in a stand mixer with dough hook for 5 minutes, until dough is very smooth and elastic.
  • To fold 'meloui', divide the dough into balls about the size of small plums; cover with a towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Take a ball of dough and flatten it on a large, oiled work surface using oiled hands to stretch and flatten the dough into a long, elongated strip or rectangle about 3 inches [7.6 cm] wide.
  • Dot the length of the dough with a little soft butter and sprinkle dough with a little semolina.
  • Fold dough lengthwise into a narrow strip by folding one long side into the center, and then folding the opposite long side on top of the first.
  • Dot narrow strip of dough with soft butter, sprinkle on a little more semolina, and then tightly roll up the strip like a rug.
  • Work from the bottom up, flattening the strip of dough to keep it free from air bubbles as you roll.
  • Pinch loose end of ough onto the roll to seal it, and stand the roll upright on an oiled tray.
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes or so, then slightly flatten the coil to help it retain its shape while you fold the remaining dough.
  • Repeat the process for all of the dough.
  • To cook 'meloui', preheat a pan or griddle over medium heat.
  • In the order in which they were olded, take an upright roll of dough and flatten it into a circle about 1/8 inch [3-mm] thick trying to flatten it evenly so you can see the coiled effect.
  • Transfer flattened dough to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes or longer turning several times, until 'meloui' is golden brown and dough cooked thoroughly.
  • Serve 'meloui' hot, or leave to cool onto a wire rack and then freeze.
  • Frozen meloui can be reheated into a preheated 350F [180C] oven for a few minutes, until just hot.
  • Do not leave them in the oven longer than necessary or they will dry out.