Msemen maamer recipe – Moroccan stuffed flatbreads #BreadBakers

 

Time to try a new Moroccan recipe! I adore the flavours of Moroccan cooking – harissa and ras el hanout spices, the citrus tang of preserved lemons and wonderfully aromatic sweet and savoury ingredient combinations. When this month’s Bread Bakers theme was announced as ‘peppers’, I decided to make a stuffed Moroccan flatbread recipe I’d been meaning to master for a while: msemen maamer. Thank you to our host Sue from Palatable Pastime!

Msemen flatbreads are folded, square-shaped dough parcels which can be either pan-fried or baked. Maamer means stuffed and I have chosen a vegetarian red pepper and onion filling.

Msemen maamer Moroccan flatbreads
Msemen maamer Moroccan flatbreads

Msemen maamer recipe

The basic structure of this recipe comes from Moroccan food expert Christine Benlafquih although I used different spices for the filling and also prepared more filling than in the original recipe.

Making msemen maamer is a four stage process

  1. Prepare the filling
  2. Make the dough
  3. Shape the dough parcels by stretching, filling and folding the dough
  4. Fry the msemen maamer

A few tips upfront

  • The dough isn’t stretched by rolling it with a rolling pin. Instead, you shape the dough with your hands.
  • No flour is used on the worktop or dough surface. Lightly oil the dough and dip your fingers into a bowl of oil frequently to avoid it sticking to the work surface or your hands.
Msemen maamer stuffed flatbread
Msemen maamer- stuffed with a spiced red pepper and onion filling

Msemen maamer ingredients

For the filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 red peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For the msemen dough

  • 440g plain white wheat flour
  • 90g semolina
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 330g water

For folding and frying

  • 200g vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)

How to make msemen maamer

Prepare the filling

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan.
  2. Sauté the red peppers and onions until tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, ras el hanout, paprika, cumin seeds, salt and black pepper.

Make the dough

  1. Combine the flour, semolina, salt, yeast and water in a bowl.
  2. Knead for about 10 minutes to form a soft and pliable dough.

Get ready to make the msemen dough parcels

  1. Prepare a little bowl with the vegetable oil you will need for folding and frying.
  2. Oil your work surface or a baking sheet and also oil your hands and the outside of the dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 -10 evenly sized balls and set aside. Brush a little oil on each dough ball to ensure they don’t dry out and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. While you wait divide the red pepper and onion filling into the same number of portions as you have balls of dough.

Shape, fold and fry

  1. On a well-oiled surface and with well-oiled hands, pat the first dough ball into a flat circle. Then sweep and stretch the dough circle further to achieve a paper-thin circular shape.
  2. Distribute 2/3 of one portion of filling across the surface of the dough.
  3. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter.
  4. Distribute the remaining 1/3 of the filling on top of the folded dough.
  5. Fold the two open ends of the dough letter into the center to make a square.
  6. Set aside and repeat with the other dough balls and filling portions.
  7. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. You can use several pans simultaneously to help speed up the process.
  8. Each msemen maamer now needs to be flattend with oiled hands until nearly double in size. Start with the dough parcel you folded first and in the order you prepared them in. Be careful to ensure that the stuffing doesn’t break through the dough surface.
  9. Fry the msemen maamer, turning several times, until golden brown.
  10. Transfer the fried msemen to a wire rack.
  11. Serve while still warm – best eaten on the same day.

Here’s what the other #BreadBakers prepared
BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Khobz Recipe – Authentic Moroccan Bread

 

Watching the first episode of Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast set in Morocco, I was (of course) inspired by the industriousness in the Moroccan bread bakery. It brought back memories of my first authentic Moroccan meal, sitting on a balcony overlooking the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa in Marrakesh.

If you love Middle Eastern & Mediterranean food as much as I do, Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks are an unbelievably wonderful resource:

Now For The Khobz Recipe…

This authentic Moroccan bread, called khobz, is a round, flattish bread with plenty of crust making it an ideal bread for dipping and scooping up tagines and salads.

Khobz 2014
Khobz – Moroccan Bread with Sesame Seeds

I found a wonderful recipe for Moroccan bread on the Culinary Anthropologist blog and have adjusted it slightly by using wholegrain spelt instead of wholemeal wheat flour. The bread is usually flavoured with anise seeds; however, I used fennel seeds instead which worked well.

Ingredients for 2 khobz loaves (enough for 6 people)

  • 325g strong white bread flour
  • 50g wholegrain spelt flour (use wholemeal wheat flour as an alternative)
  • 125g maize flour or fine polenta
  • 9g salt
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 350g tepid water (add slightly more if needed)
  • 2 tsps sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Sesame seeds for the topping
  • Olive oil to grease the bowl and brush the bread

How to make khobz bread

  1. Combine the flours, salt, yeast and water in a large bowl.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes.
  3. Knead in the sesame and fennel seeds.
  4. Lightly grease the bowl with olive oil.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball, place in the bowl (moving it around to cover the dough with olive oil), then cover the bowl.
  6. Prove the dough for approx. 2 hours (depending on the temperature in the room; it should rise significantly).
  7. Divide the dough into 2 halves with a dough scraper and shape each part into a ball.
  8. Prepare a baking tray and line with baking paper.
  9. Place the dough balls onto the baking tray and flatten them with your hands to about 4 cm in height.
  10. Sprinkle the loaves with the sesame seeds and use your flat hand to carefully press them into the dough.
  11. Cover the loaves with a tea towel and leave for their second prove. This should take about an hour.
  12. 1/2 hour before baking, preheat the oven to 240°C.
  13. Just before baking, brush the loaves with olive oil and make a few incisions.
  14. Bake for approx. 30 mins.
  15. Cool on a wire rack.
Khobz close up 2014
Moroccan bread with maize flour and fennel seeds

Khobz is best eaten on the day of baking. We had it with this super-tasty lamb tagine, a recipe by Antony Worrall Thompson.

If you have any leftover khobz, try this spicy Moroccan bread salad recipe.

Enjoy!