Layla Dahamou, writing for Morocco World News has an authentic recipe for Msemen. Msemen is a square-shaped Moroccan pancake known also to some Moroccans as “Rghaif” or “Mlawi”. They are dough-based and take quite considerable time to be prepared in the traditional way. Generally, Msemen is prepared for breakfast and sometimes as an evening snack. It always goes with Moroccan tea, but some people would serve it with milk-coffee. It may be sweetened by honey or jam for those who would like it sweet.
200g fine semolina
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp yeast
1.5 cups warm water
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, gradually adding water while kneading. Add more water when necessary just to make cohesive dough, for 10 minutes (or knead the dough in a stand mixer for 5 minutes), until the dough is very cohesive and soft .
Set out some oil, fine semolina flour, and soft butter. They will be used when shaping the dough to make balls of equal size.
Prepare a large, smooth surface for working with the dough. A large plastic tray is very useful. So as not to have the dough stuck on the surface, spread some oil on it.
Keep your hands and the dough well-oiled and grasp a large portion of dough and squeeze off a ball between your thumb and forefinger to form small balls of nearly equal size.
Put the balls on an oiled tray. To keep the balls in good conditions, spread oil on them, and cover them loosely with plastic so as not to be dry.
Set aside the balls for few minutes before working with them .
Take a ball, dip it in oil, and flatten the balls to make very thin discs.
Grease the discs with butter and then sprinkle the dough with a little semolina. This will help keep the folded layers separate when the Msemen is cooked.
Fold the edges of the discs into the center to make a square, and place them aside on an oiled surface.
Repeat the process until all the balls have been folded into squares.
Heat a frying pan or an iron skillet over medium high heat.
Work on every square of dough separately by patting it with your fingers or palm of your hand to extend to nearly double size.
Place the Msemen in the pan and fry it. Flip it regularly until the two sides are well cooked. This should take several minutes.
Repeat the same procedure for all the rest.
Serve hot with honey or jam and Moroccan tea.
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