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It took me sometime to realize that there are many different kinds of Moroccan bread that are actually made at home. And each one serves a different purpose. Batbout is a Moroccan pita, or an American equivalent of sandwich bread. It’s for a quick lunch (I loved eating it for breakfast with cheese inside.)
I found the recipe here on Christina’s blog about Moroccan food. A fabulous resource from an expat living in Morocco. I play around with the amount of semolina in it as my husband tends to like it with more semolina than flour.
• 4 cups white flour
• 4 cups white flour
• 2 cups semolina or wheat flour
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon yeast
• 2 cups water (approximate), divided
1) Activate the yeast by mixing it with ¼ cup of warm (not hot) water and a teaspoon of sugar. Set aside the mixture until it’s frothy, about five to 10 minutes.
2) Blend the flours, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast, the oil and the rest of the water, and mix to form a dough. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it’s too sticky to work with, add a little flour one tablespoon at a time. (Remember the dough will absorb a bit more flour if you knead it by hand.)
3) If the dough feels a bit stiff, work in additional water, a tablespoon at a time. Knead the dough in a mixer with a dough hook, or by hand on a lightly floured surface, for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
4) Divide the dough into smooth balls and leave them to rest, covered, on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. Roll out each ball into a thin circle about ⅛ inch thick. Set the rolled out dough on a clean, dry towel and cover. Leave to rise for about 1 to 1½ hours.
5) Preheat a very lightly oiled cast iron skillet, griddle or other non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook the batbout, turning several times, until golden brown on both sides. The browning will be a bit uneven since the bread puffs up as it cooks, but that’s okay. Transfer the cooked batbout to a rack to cool. It’s okay to stack them while they’re warm.
Batbout will keep fresh for two days at room temperature. They freeze well, and can be heated in a microwave directly from the freezer. Just be careful not to overheat them or they’ll dry out.