is a kind of puff pastry. Culinary specialty of the Maghreb, there are different varieties depending on the region, especially in Morocco also spelled msemen and m’semen In Morocco, they are widely consumed during Ramadan, plain or with honey. You can also use these patties to make traditional dishes like rfissa (it will then be necessary to cut them into small pieces).
This recipe calls for a little semolina for texture and taste, but how much to use is a matter of personal preference. Substitute more semolina for some of the white flour if you like a coarser texture.
Msemen Dough for Square-Moroccan PancakesThis recipe calls for a little msemen and m'semen for texture and taste, but how much to use is a matter of personal preference. Substitute more semolina for some of the white flour if you like a coarser texture.
For Making the Dough:
- 3 1/2 cups/440 g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup/90 g fine semolina
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
For Folding and Cooking the Msemen :
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup fine semolina
- 1/4 cup very soft unsalted butter
- Make the dough by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of warm water and mix to form a dough. Add more water if necessary to make a dough that is soft and easy to knead, but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add a little flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, (or knead the dough in a stand mixer with dough hook for 5 minutes), until the dough is very smooth and elastic.
how to knead by hand :
- Set up Your Work Area : Set out some vegetable oil, fine semolina, and soft unsalted butter. These will be used when shaping the dough. Prepare a large, smooth surface for working with the dough. A large plastic tray or a clean counter is fine. Spread the work surface with a little vegetable oil so the dough won't stick.
- Divide the Dough Into Balls : Keeping your hands and the dough well-oiled, divide the msemen dough into smooth balls. Try the Moroccan method shown here. Grasp a large portion of dough and squeeze off a ball between your thumb and forefinger. It takes a little practice, but this method is an efficient way to control the size of the balls.
- Let the Msemen Dough Rest : Set the balls of dough on an oiled surface. Be sure the dough is well-oiled so that it won't dry out. If you are making a large quantity, you might want to cover the dough loosely with plastic as well. Allow the dough to rest a few minutes before working with it in the next step. The balls of dough shown here are about the size of apricots or small plums and will yield 4" to 5” square msemen. You can make msemen any size you like, but it is common to make them small so that you can fit more onto a griddle or into a pan to cook at one time. If you are cooking msemen one by one, you might want to make them larger and set up several pans.
- Flatten the Msemen Dough : Take a ball of dough (work in order, starting with the first ball of dough you shaped), dip it in the oil, and use oiled hands to flatten and spread the dough into a very thin circle or irregular square. Make it as thin as you can without breaking the dough. A small hole or two in the dough is okay; they'll be concealed when you fold the dough.
- Dot the Dough with Butter : Dot the dough with butter and then sprinkle the dough with a little semolina. This will help keep the folded layers separate when the msemen cooks.
- Fold the Dough Into Thirds : Fold one side of the dough into the center as shown. Fold the opposite side into the center to make a narrow strip of dough.
- Finish Folding to Make a Square : Fold the opposite end of dough to the center to make a square. Set aside the folded dough on an oiled surface. Repeat the process until all the balls of dough have been folded into squares.
- Cook the Msemen : Heat a frying pan, cast iron skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Take a square of dough, and pat it with your fingers or palm of your hand to flatten it until approximately double in size. Place the msemen in the pan and fry, turning over several times, until golden brown and the center of the msemen is cooked (it should be chewy, but not gummy or raw). This should take several minutes.Repeat with all of the dough. Remove to a rack to cool, and enjoy!
- Serve the msemen plain with butter and honey or jam.
- To make a syrup from butter and honey, simply melt equal portions of butter and honey in a pan until hot and bubbly. Carefully and quickly dip the msemen in the syrup and place on a serving platter.