This is a recipe for the dough used to make msemen, also called rghaif. |
The dough is kneaded like bread dough until soft and smooth.
Serve the msemen plain, with butter and honey, or jam.
To make a syrup from butter and honey, simply melt equal portions of butter and honey into a saucepan until hot and bubbly; carefully and quickly dip the msemen in the syrup and place on a serving platter.
Msemen, also known as rghaif, are Moroccan pancakes that have been folded into a square shape before being fried in a frypan.
If you've never seen this done, the process might seem confusing but it is actually quite easy!
Frying the dough in a frypan yields a layered pancake that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
- 3 1/2 cups [490 g] flour
- 1/2 cup [125 mL] fine semolina
- 2 teaspoons [10 g] sugar
- 2 teaspoons [10 mL] salt
- 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] yeast
- 1 1/2 cups [375 mL] warm water, more if needed
- 1 1/2 cups [375 mL] vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup [125 mL] fine semolina flour, for folding
- 1/4 cup [60 g] very soft unsalted butter
- Into a bowl, mix together flour, singe semolina, sugar, salt and yeast.
- Pour in water 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 one tablespoon [8.75 g] at a time.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, or knead dough in a stand mixer with dough hook for 5 minutes, until the dough is very smooth and elastic.
- Set out some vegetable oil, fine semolina flour, and soft unsalted butter [these will be used when shaping the dough].
- Prepare a large, smooth surface for working with the dough; a large plastic tray or a clean counter is fine.
- Spread the work surface with a little vegetable oil so the dough won't stick
- Keeping your hands and the dough well-oiled, divide the dough into smooth balls.
- Grasp a large portion of dough and squeeze off a ball, about the size of apricots or small plums, between your thumb and forefinger [it takes a little practice, but this method is an efficient way to control the size of the balls].
- These balls should yield 4 to 5-inch [10 to 12-cm] square msemen.
- You can make msemen any size you like but small ones can fit more in a griddle or pan to cook at one time but if you plan to cook msemen one by one, you might want to make them larger.
- Take a ball of dough, dip it in the oil, and use oiled hands to flatten and spread the dough into a very thin circle or irregular square, making it as thin as you can without breaking the dough even though a small hole or two in the dough is OK.
- Dot the dough with butter and then sprinkle the dough with a little semolina to help keep the folded layers separate when the msemen cooks.
- Fold one side of the dough into the center then fold the opposite side into the center to make a narrow strip of dough.
- Fold one end of the strip of dough to the center.
- Fold the opposite end of dough to the center to make a square.
- Set aside the folded dough on an oiled surface.
- Repeat the process until all the balls of dough have been folded into squares.
- Heat a frying pan, cast iron skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat.
- Take a square of dough, and pat it with your fingers or palm of your hand to flatten it until approximately double in size.
- Fry the msemen turning over several times, until golden brown and the center of the msemen is cooked [it should be chewy, but not gummy or raw], which shloud take several minutes.
- Transfer onto a wire rack; leave to cool.
- Repeat with remaining dough, and serve.