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.)
I found the recipe here on Christina’s blog about Moroccan food. A fabulous resource from an expat living in Morocco. I played around with the amount of semolina in it as my husband tends to like it with more semolina than flour.
This bread is a little different because it’s cooked on the stovetop and not in the oven. It’s a good choice if you don’t have an oven but still want bread – as was the case when we first moved to Morocco.
• 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 reheated on the stovetop easily.
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