Visitors to Morocco cannot help but fall for the mouth-watering taste and texture of a warm msemen.
Msemen is a square, crispy Moroccan flatbread made with layers of folded, paper-thin semolina dough and delicious butter. Some people eat it with soft cheese, jam, or dipped in olive oil, but Moroccan msemen needs no accompaniment.
These little squares of heaven are popular street snacks but are also popular as part of an indulgent breakfast or an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. My children love to feast on freshly cooked msemen after school.
Once you’ve learned how to make them, I’m sure they will become a staple in your home, too. So let’s get started.
There aren’t many ingredients for this recipe and everything on the list is easy to come by.
For the dough you will need:
500 grams of all-purpose flour
250 grams of fine semolina
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of baking yeast1 ½ cup of water
For folding the msemen you need a couple more ingredients:
A few handfuls of semolina
1 cup of oil
200 grams of soft butter
Now we’re reading to start cooking
Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl, gradually adding water while kneading.
Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is very cohesive and soft, but not sticky.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Prepare a large, smooth surface for working with the dough and spread some oil on it to stop the dough from sticking. I like to use a large plastic tray when preparing msemen. Keep your hands and the dough well-oiled and grab a large portion of dough, now squeeze off a ball between your thumb and forefinger and form small balls of nearly equal size.
Put the balls on an oiled tray. To keep the dough balls in the right condition spread oil on them and cover them loosely with plastic so they do not dry out.
Let the oiled balls rest for ten minutes.
Take a ball, dip it in the oil, and then flatten it into a thin disk. Now repeat the process with the rest of the dough balls.
Grease the discs with butter and then sprinkle the dough with a little semolina. This will help keep the folded layers separate when the msemen is cooked.
Fold the edges of the discs into the center to make a square, and place them aside on an oiled surface.
Repeat the process until all the balls have been folded into squares.
Heat a frying pan or an iron skillet over medium heat.
Work on every square of dough separately by patting it with your fingers or palm of your hand to extend to nearly double size.
Place the msemen in the pan and fry it. Flip it regularly until the two sides are well cooked. This should take several minutes.
Repeat until you have used all the dough.
Moroccan Msemen is best eaten hot or warm. It’s slightly flaky when warm but chewy when cold.
Serve hot with honey, jam, or cheese and enjoy!