Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kesra - Traditional Moroccan Flatbread

All over the Mediterranean and Middle East, flat breads are very popular. In fact, these breads are the most ancient breads of all with the simplest of them having no yeast. The cuisine of this area is typified by roasted meats and delicately-flavored sauces fragrant with spices like cinnamon and cumin. There are also many, many dips, the most famous being hummus and tehina paste. So the flat breads serve not only to mop up the sauces but also to work the dips. They are usually quite soft (like the pita bread) but also with a strong enough structure so they can be a vehicle for all the goodness they have to transport from plate to mouth. This bread is a Moroccan version of one of the many, many flatbreads from this region.

Here's What You'll Need: (for 2 'loaves')
sunflower or vegetable oil (for oiling the baking pan)
3/4 cup (75 g) cornmeal
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) instant dried yeast
1 tsp (5 g) salt
2 1/2 cups (600 ml) warm water
4 cups (450 g) AP flour
1 tsp. (5 g) sugar
2 Tbs. (30 g) melted butter or margarine

Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt.

2. Make a well in the center, then pour in the water and melted butter (or margarine). Mix this together to form a soft dough. You may need to adjust the flour and/or water to get the right texture. The dough should be soft but not very sticky. Knead for a few minutes to develop the gluten.

3. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten the ball to a disk about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Place the disk on a baking tray that is lightly oiled, then sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with a damp towel, and let it rise until doubled in volume. This will take a while (2 hours?) because there is very little yeast. While you wait, the flavor is developing.

4. When the dough has risen, heat the oven to 425 F (about 220 C). Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F (about 180 C) and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove the bread to a cooling rack when it is well-browned, with a crunchy crust.

5. Find some excellent hummus and dig in!!


  1. This looks very nice indeed.
    you said this dough is for 2 breads. Should I divide the dough? You don't mention it .

  2. I <3 Moroccan cuisine. I asked for a tagime for Christmas. Williams-Sonoma has beautiful hand-painted Tunisian tagimes for $49. Steal on my end. lol

    I keep seeing people put bread in pre-heated dutch ovens and the bread comes out beautifully. I wonder if I could use a tagime and get the same results? HMMM!