It took me some time 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 a Moroccan bread often used for a quick lunch (I loved eating it for breakfast with cheese inside.)
This is the Moroccan version of pita bread. It's cooked on the stovetop, not in the oven.
- 4 cups white flour
- 2 cups semolina or wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp active yeast
- 2 cups water (approximate), divided
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A simple variation on this recipe is that instead of cooking the bread in a dry skillet, add oil and fry it to cook and then coat in honey and butter. This Moroccan fried bread is a special treat!