Baghrir are a soft and spongy type of crumpet. These Moroccan crumpets are made from semolina and flour, and it’s all about the wholes. They are a common family favorite and can be eaten for breakfast or an evening snack with tea, everyone loves them because of the way they just melt-in-your-mouth
The yeast in the pancake style mixture causes hundreds of bubbles to form and pop on the surface of each pancake as it cooks. This is the secret to what gives baghrir its famous texture and appearance. I remember my mother being so proud of her baghrir, she was famous for her perfectly spongy and bubbly pancakes. I would often stand and watch her make them but when she would get to the cooking part she would say not to watch them as their bubbles popped to make the wholes. I asked her why and she smiled and said “because they might get shy and not come out” )) I later discovered she just didn’t want me to jinx them lol!
Baghrir are easy to make, but in order for the bubbles to form properly, the batter must be the right consistency. If the batter is too thick, the bubbles can't form, let alone pop. Insha Allah this recipe should be just right, but here are some tips just in case.
- If the bubbles don't form properly, the batter was probably too thick or it has risen too long and bubbled too much. Try thinning it by stirring in an additional tablespoon or two of water then leave it for about 10 minutes before using again.
- Cooking time can be time consuming so try using several pans at the same time. You could also use a large non-stick griddle or chapatti pan.
- My mum always saved a small non-stick pan specially for the purpose of making her baghrir, she never scrubbed it clean with soap or fried anything in it and only ever wiped it clean with a lightly wet cloth.
- Normally you don't need to oil the pan, but if there is some residue from a cooked baghrir, you can use a lightly oiled paper towel to wipe the pan clean before making the next pancake.
- Some people enjoy them with olive oil and sprinkled sugar but my favourite way to serve them is with a syrup made from butter and honey. You heat equal portions of butter and honey until it bubbles slightly and then spread it evenly over each baghrir before rolling them up or layering them on a serving plate.
- 1 1/2 cups fine semolina - (smida)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour -
- 1 teaspoon salt -
- 1 teaspoon sugar -
- 2 tsp baking powder -
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water -
- 1 tablespoon yeast -
- Mix the flour, semolina, salt, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
- Measure just over 3 cups of lukewarm water in a blender then add the yeast and process on low speed to blend.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients a little at a time.
- Increase the processing speed and blend for a full minute, or until very smooth and creamy.
- The batter should be rather thin, about the same consistency as when making pancakes.
- Pour the batter into a bowl. Cover with some cling film or a plastic bag and leave to rest for about 10 minutes or slightly longer. (You know when its done when the top of the batter turns light and a bit frothy)
- Heat a small non-stick pan over a medium heat. Stir the batter, and use a soup serving spoon to pour the batter slowly into the center of the hot pan. The batter will spread evenly into a circle. (Do not swirl the pan or the spoon over the mix as you would for a pancake; the batter should spread itself.) You can make the baghrir as large as you like.
- The bubbles should appear on the surface of the baghrir as it cooks. Don't flip it over, as it only gets cooked from the bottom side.
- Cook for about two minutes, or until the baghrir doesn't appear wet anywhere on the surface. (It should lighten in color & feel spongy, but not sticky or gooey when you touch it lightly with your finger.)
- Transfer the baghrir to cool in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Only once they're cool, they can be stacked without sticking.
- Repeat the above process with the remaining batter and serve plain with toppings on the side, or dip the pancakes in the suggested hot syrup.
- (Leftover baghrir are best stored in the freezer, with either a plastic bag layer, cling film or wax paper between each one.)