Baghir: North African Pancakes with countless holes

According to Wikipedia, Baghrir (or beghrir) is an ancient Berber pancake originating in North Africa. They are small, spongy and made with semolina or flour; when cooked correctly, they are riddled with tiny holes (which soak up whatever sauce they are served with).


Not that I counted them but sometimes, they are also called “crepes with 1000 holes”.


The most common way to eat baghrir in Morocco and Algeria is by dipping them in a honey-butter mixture.

Originally, baghrir was made with flour, yeast, salt and water and cooked on a sort of clay tile or a clay “gass’a”. Nowadays, we just use a sort of non-stick pan that is be left for this purpose…


Baghrir can be made using coarse semolina, or fine semolina flour or a combination of all-purpose flour and a good portion of fine semolina flour called “finot” in Morocco. Its texture is somewhere between a flour and a fine semolina, it feels like a coarse floor. Lately, I found a facebook page about bread making and they were referring to it as “semola” which I suppose is an Italian word. 


In the last 15 years, Baghrir started having extra ingredients added to it such as baking powder and even vanilla and chocolate (not common but it’s worth mentioning).

Then the batter is blended to get those bubbles going and cut on the waiting time.

The other thing is that liquids can differ from a recipe to another. While originally the baghrir was made with water to get the batter/crepe-like consistency, you could come across a mixture of buttermilk and water, or yoghurt and water, or just milk and water. Lately, I have come across a recipe with sparkling water.

In today’s version, I used whey left from the cheese I was making because it would have been a shame to throw it away knowing all the goodness in it.

Baghrir is a freezer-friendly pancake: 30 seconds in the microwave with bring it back to it’s glory..Sometimes, I just the butter and honey on low heat and throw in the pancake and, in a couple of minutes, you have a treat..

While baghrir is usually something you would eat for breakfast, afternoon tea-time or during Iftar or sohour (2 main meals during Ramadan), I serve it as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. My husband loves it that way.

In case you are familiar with Middle-Eastern food, baghrir is just like katayef’s pancake.



Ingredients
Makes 30 mini or 15 big baghrir
Prep: 5 min- Resting time: 3 to 4 hours- Cooking: 1-2 min (on one face only)
  • 300g fine semolina flour
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 30g of spelt flour (you could replace by normal flour)
  • 1 tbsp of sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of dry instant yeast
  • 1tbsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 850 to 900ml tepid water (I used whey for half the quantity but like mentioned above you can use milk, buttermilk, sparkling water)
  • Honey and butter for serving


Preparation

Mix all the ingredients in your blender.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 4 hours until you see the batter full of many bubbles.

Stir gently with a ladle.


Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat, use the ladle to pour enough mixture to cover the pan without having extra batter to go over twice (usually the first 2 are not brilliant).


The holes start to form and that’s usually a sign of a successful baghir: a porous and light pancake (Thing of the honey that will go through all these pores). If you see the bottom of the pancake browning fast, take the pan off the heat which you might need to reduce. It happens that I flip the baghrir for about a second in case I see an uncooked spot left.


Place baghir pancakes on a clean cloth and do NOT STACK THEM..

Baghrir is best eaten warm or at least at room temperature with melted honey and butter and a good glass of Moroccan tea.




Notes:

  • To freeze baghrir, I wait until they're cool. I use wax paper between each pancakes and stack them in a plastic bag then off to the freezer.
  • To cut on the resting time, double the quantity of baking powder.
  • Since baghrir does not rely on gluten net to be a success, you can mix chickpea flour and fine corn flour to make a gluten-free baghrir (using a gluten free baking powder of course). I suggested this recipe to my gluten-intolerant cousin and she's so happy with it. 


Version Française de la recette



Ingrédients 
Pour 30 mini ou 15 large baghrirs
Préparation: 5 min Temps de-Repos: 3 à 4 heures-Cuisson: 1-2 min (sur une seule face) 
  • 300g farine de semoule fine 
  • 100g de farine tout usage 
  • 30g de farine d'épeautre (vous pouvez remplacer par de la farine normale) 
  • 1 cuillère à soupe de sucre (facultatif) 
  • 1 cuillère à soupe de levure sèche instantanée 
  • 1 cuillère à soupe de levure chimique 
  • ½ cuillère à café de sel 
  • 850 à 900 ml d'eau tiède (j'ai utilisé le liquide restant de mon fromage fait-maison pour la moitié de la quantité, mais  vous pouvez utiliser du lait, du babeurre, de l'eau gazeuse) 
  • Miel et beurre pour servir 

Préparation 

Mélanger tous les ingrédients dans le blender. 

Verser le mélange dans un grand bol, couvrir d'un film plastique et laisser lever pendant 2 à 4 heures jusqu'à ce que vous voyez l'appareil plein de beaucoup de bulles. 

Remuer délicatement avec une louche.

Chauffer une poêle anti-adhésive sur feu moyen (celle pour crêpes par exemple) , utiliser la louche pour verser juste assez de l'appareil liquide pour couvrir la poêle sans qu;il y ai un supplément.

Les trous commencent à se former et c'est habituellement un signe d'un bon Baghir: une crêpe poreuse et légère. 

Si vous voyez le fond cuit plus rapidement, retirer la poêle du feu le temps qu'elle refroidisse un peu. Vous penserez aussi à ajuster la chaleur. 

Les Baghrirs cuisent d'un seul côté mais des fois je les tournes pour une seconde maximum  si je vois qu'un petit spot n'est pas encore cuit.

Placez les Baghirs sur un chiffon propre. Il ne faut surtout pas les empilez.
Il est préférable de déguster les Baghrir chauds ou au moins à température ambiante avec du miel et du beurre fondu, le tout accompagné d'un bon verre de thé Marocain .


Notes:

  • Pour congeler les baghrir , j'attends jusqu'à ce qu'ils refroidissent. J'utilise du papier ciré entre chacune des crêpes et je les empile dans un sac en plastique puis direction pour le congélateur.
  • Pour réduire le temps de repos , doubler la quantité de levure chimique.
  • A l'encontre du pain, le Baghrir n'a pas besoin du reseau de gluten pour reussir. Par consequent, vous pouvez avoir une version sans gluten en melangeant la farine de pois chiches et la farine de maïs (pas Maizena). J'ai proposé cette recette à ma cousine qui souffre de ce problème et elle en est contente.


6 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Gheza e shiriin..I hope you try them..

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  2. I love your blog especially when you make maroccan recipes, but I guess you know that! ;) And yes, SEMOLA is an italian word. Semola and semolino are quite the same, the difference between them is that Semolino is a fine grained flour. I read with great interest your introduction about the baghir and i really hope I can visit Morocco one day! Have a nice w-end :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Serena, if you love Moroccan recipes there will be plenty. I decided to post more Moroccan throughout the year (Plus the baking I usually do)...So would semolino be more like 00 flour?.

      I hope you do get to visit Morocco one day, being in Sicily you're not too far..

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  3. Could we use sourdough instead of yeast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely...you just need to work out your ratio.

      Delete

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