Weekday Vegetarian: Moroccan Flatbread


Photo: Kelly Rossiter

I've been looking at street foods from around the world and found this recipe for a really tasty snack of Moroccan flat bread. We actually ate this for breakfast this morning and everybody liked it. You can whip it up in no time at all and then it fries quickly for something a little different.This makes an extremely sticky dough, so I let my stand mixer do the kneading work while I chopped the ingredients for the filling. I actually love kneading bread dough, I find it quite soothing, but this is the kind of dough that gets frustrating quickly.

If you do knead it by hand, make sure your hands are coated with butter or oil to keep it from totally adhering to your skin. Make sure the pan is good and hot before you start frying these. The first one I made was a bit doughy, but the others were wonderfully crispy. My dough ripped open in a couple of places, and other than the fact that a bit of onion fell out into the pan, it really didn't seem to make any difference at all.

There is a lot of butter in this, so it's not something you would eat often, although I may play around with the recipe and see what I can substitute that would be healthier that that. Though it certainly is great for an occasional treat.

This recipe is from Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou.

Moroccan Flat Bread
For the dough:

1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt, plus more for the filling

For the filling:

1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1. Stir the yeast into a scant 1/2 cup tepid water and leave for about 5 minutes

2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and yeast water, gradually working it in until the dough is slightly wetter than that for bread. Knead with your hands for 10 minutes, or until completely smooth and pliable.

3. Put all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl, add salt to taste, and mix together well.

4. Smear your work surface and hands with butter and divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Flatten 1 portion with your fingers into a very thin square, stretching it as you finish - be careful not to tear it. Spread a quarter of the filling over one half and fold the plain side over. Fold again to form a square. Flatten as thin as possible with your fingers.

5. Grease a large nonstick frying pan with a little butter and place over medium-high heat. Place the folded dough in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly golden all over. Remove and place on parchment paper. Repeat the procedure to make the rest of the breads, butter your hands, work surface and pan as necessary. Serve hot or warm.

More Moroccan Recipes
Moroccan Spinach and Chickpeas
Moroccan Vegetarian Tagine
Ras el Hanout

Tags: Weekday Vegetarian