Friday, 6 January 2012

Batbout, a.k.a Moroccan flat bread cooked in a skillet

Batbout is a variety of Moroccan bread, baked on cast iron pan/ heavy bottomed skillet. 

Stuffed mini-batbout with smoked salmon, labneh, roquette and shredded Edam. Isn't that a good bite?

This traditional bread can be eaten with savory dishes, can be stuffed and presented in several versions as appetizer, since it looks as a pocket. Or, you can simply enjoy it with butter and honey ( melted together, we open the bread literally and we seak the 2 sides, quiet common in Ramadan).
   
Spongy-looking inside
I personally love this bread because of its slighty burnt crust and incredibly soft inside. It's a good bread for BBQ time. If you are a pita lover, this bread will do.


Ingredient 
For 18 little ones and 6 medium size
Prep: 20 min - Proofing : 2h - Cooking 4 min/ batch
  • 340g flour
  • 60g fine semolina flour (also used for making pasta)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp of instant dry yeast
  • Approximately 250ml (+/-)

Preparation


Mix flour with semolina, salt, yeast, then gradually add luckwarm water and knead for 10 min or more until you get a soft dough, not sticky. I have a bread machine, so I used program "dough".
 

Knead the dough until you have an elastic consistency, soft and smooth. Form a ball and cover. Let double in volume (about 1:30).
 


Flour the work plan, flatten the dough to degas it gently. Roll out with rolling pin. Cut out circles according to the desired size (5 cm at 20 cm, even more). As to the thickness, I recommend 3 to5 mm, not more.  

Lay the circles on a clean cloth sprinkled with fine semolina flour or just plain flour to prevent the dough from sticking (otherwise you won't get that nice pocket of air that makes the pita split from inside). Cover and let stand for 30 min, in a warm place Heat a heavy skillet and cook the bread on both sides on low heat!
 

The Batbout is a success when you see that it's forming a pocket inside during the cooking process. It will act like a balloon taking shape.


Batbout Being cooked

Let the bread cool before storing or stuffing it. My mother opens them about 3 or 4 cm from 1 side so it looks like a pocket. That way she checks if they're all good to be stuffed and make sure the top and the bottom are "splitable".  She works ahead of time. Like she says: this allows the bread to kick out the steam and doesn't glue from inside.



 

At home, we prepare a large amount of Batbout in several dimensions, which will be frozen in plastic bags and used as needed. You just have to heat it in the microwave for a few seconds and finish it in a hot skillet to reconstitute the cispy crust and trap the moist inside. 


You can make Batbout thin or slighty thicker than what you will see here, especially if you are planning to dig into a nice tagine. But do not over-thicken it, I suggest a maximum of 1 cm after baking, which would be 5 mm before.

Please give it a go! It's addictive and I would like you to become part of our batbout-circle people. it's just fun to be too many!

3 comments:

  1. I bought a huge sack of semolina flour from the supermarket during the last ramadan. All the flour is gone now and I can't find any more :( It really made the BEST bread, so I can imagine that these would be fantastic. Next time Ramadan comes (june or july I think, right?) I'm going to buy so many bags of flour so I don't run out again :D

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  2. Why do they sell it only in ramadan?
    In Morocco we call it Finot flour, so if you can find that in one of the North African shops over there...

    In case you don't find, you can use the fine corn meal (not the white maizena) used for the tortillas like this one. http://www.natco-online.com/acatalog/Corn_Meal_Polenta.html.
    They just brought it here. I'll use it next time because I've just run out of my finot!

    Alternatively, you can buy "semoule fine" and pulse it in the food processor.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well - to be honest I could probably find it if I went to the Arabic areas of Paris - but during ramadan especially, because France has a pretty high muslim population the main stores use it as an opportunity to stock up on loads of halal meat and general "festive" food, like lots of cakes, flours etc. This is great for me because I love the stuff and it means I can buy it easily without needing to go seek it out in Paris.

    After Eid they switch back to selling only a small selection of things, including only large sacks of "semoule moyenne" which is a real pain :( I suppose I could blitz that in the food processor, but I like the convenience of the huge 5kg bags.

    Thanks for the tip about the corn meal - I'll check it out!

    ReplyDelete

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