Monday, February 14, 2011

Baghrir - Yeasted Moroccan Pancakes

Growing up, my mom would get up early and make Baghrir for us for breakfast. These yeasted Moroccan pancakes are drizzled with honey. They are airy, full of holes for syrup to seep through, a little sticky, sweet, and filling. In addition, my mom would also make a nice big pot of fresh mint tea to go with it. Sometimes she'd also sprinkle chopped toasted almonds on top. A few years ago I finally obtained the recipe. Not because my mom wouldn't share it but because my mom measures her ingredients for Baghrir with a "certain" size bowl that I don't have an exact copy of :o) So I just followed her with my scale when she made it and wrote down the recipe :o)

There are probably as many recipes for Baghrir out there as there are for chocolate chip cookies. My mom's version is made with 100% coarse semolina flour (no AP flour), milk (not water), and no eggs. I really like this recipe a lot as-is and have not bothered trying other recipes.

Hubby loves these. They're great for breakfast but they work equally well as an afternoon snack with some mint tea. Should you have leftovers, it keeps very well in the fridge (covered in plastic wrap). Just reheat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
I have been meaning to share this recipe with all of you for a while. I hope you give them a try and let me know how you like them.

Moroccan Baghrir
(original recipe - please ask for permission before reprinting in any form)
2 cups/16 fl oz warm milk, 100-110 F (I've used 1% as well as 2% milk)
6 oz coarse semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (this type of yeast doesn't need to bloom first)
pinch of turmeric, optional (for slightly less pale looking Baghrir)

¾ cup honey (I like orange blossom)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or butter)
1 tsp orange blossom water, optional (add if using clover honey)

Put all the Baghrir ingredients in a blender.

Process until the batter is homogenous and no longer lumpy. This takes about 2-3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm place for about 40 minutes.

By now, the batter should be all nice and bubbly on top. 

Stir it gently to evenly distribute the bubbles. Heat a non-stick pan over low-medium to medium heat until hot. I like to heat up two non-stick pans (6” and 8”) to speed things up. Make 1 test Baghrir to check the heat setting of your stove. Pour enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom of the pan without swirling the pan or your Baghrir will be too thin (remember, you’re not making crepes). You’ll start seeing bubbles form immediately. Cook on one side only, until the surface is no longer wet and there are holes throughout. 

Remove Baghrir from pan and put on wire rack to cool. Adjust heat if necessary (increase if the bubbles don't form throughout, and decrease if the bottom cooks before the top is cooked). Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

See how porous it is?
For the syrup, put all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until hot. Place one Baghrir on a plate, and using a spoon (or silicone pastry brush), drizzle the Baghrir liberally with the syrup (remember, there’s no sugar in the Baghrir itself so all the sweetness comes from the syrup). The syrup serves two functions: heating up the Baghrir as well as sweeten it. Stack another Baghrir on top, and repeat the syrup process.

The Baghrir is very porous so the bottom Baghrir will catch a lot of the syrup that flows from all the Baghrir stacked on top.

Bon Appetit!


  1. what a lovely simple recipe! I'm thinking these could also be used as a scoop together with a nice hearty stew...

  2. Oh Yum. I have very fond memories of eatign these for breakfast on a hotel rooftop in essouira. Have tried other recipes so will have to compare this one, thanks for posting it.

  3. @BakingSoda: yes, these would work for savory dishes too because there's no sugar in the batter. Try them and let me know how you like them.

    @Tracey: thanks for visiting and leaving a comment :o) I have yet to make it to Essouira but I've heard it's lovely there. If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it.

  4. Hanaa, these sound utterly delicious!
    My husband is the Pancake Man in our house. I'm going to ask him to make some for dinner!

  5. Hanaa, these look wonderful!! So simple and look so delicious. We are huge pancake people and will definitely give this one a try. Thanks so much for sharing this very special recipe! xo

  6. The holes are interesting--they kind of remind me of a thinner crumpet. Have you ever tried these with maple syrup or with lemon and powdered sugar?

  7. @Vicki: I hope you like them. Let me know how they turn out.

    @Nina: they really are simple and delicious. Give them a try!

    @BreadBasketCase: yeah they do look a little bit like crumpets. I haven't tried them with anything other than honey, but I bet they'll taste great with maple syrup, lemon /powdered sugar, as well as any preserves. Give them a try. I think you and Jim will like them!

  8. I love these and will try them at my house with my daughter as the judge! Her best friend is half Moroccan and she made us a fantastic bread with semolina that I am trying to get her to bake for us again.

  9. I have a huge pancake recipe collection, they are favourites at my home. I think these will be a great addition: I love crumpets, and durum wheat flour is one of my favourites for its flavour and texture. It reminds me of home. Thanks!

  10. This recipe sounds very interesting! I'm sure my kids will love it!

  11. I've never heard of this before - but from the description you've written they sound great. Toasted almonds on top would make it extra special!

  12. - Hanaa, this tray of your is very tempting! At our house, it is my husband who makes wonderful, airy beghrir on weekends. I can cook and bake many things, but sadly beghrir is not one of them...or so I tell my husband ;) Tbarak'Allah alik!

  13. I recently had Afghani Bolani - a similar looking bread - perhaps not quite as airy. Are you acquainted with it? Spinach stuffed with lovely hummus on it. Yum! Thanks.

  14. @Leslie: I’ve never had Afghani Bolani, but I love spinach so I’m sure I’d like them. If you get a chance, try my “Baghrir”. I think you’d like them. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. You are absolutely right! There are so many ways to arrive at a velvety smooth batter and meltingly tender beghrir. They look wonderful and l bet they taste delicious. Thanks for sending me to your site . It's beautiful.

  16. I once dated a lovely Moroccan man who taught me to make Beghrir (along with alot of other Moroccan dishes). I havent made them in many years, but lately I've been wanting to dust off my cookbooks and make some tasty food. Beghrir is first on my list!!

  17. Hi Hanaâ your baghrir look delicious i have a recipe and would like to try yours as well. i was wondering how many grams/cl a cup is ?
    whenever i see american posts i have to figure out how much grams etc it really is lol.

    good job, have to read some of your blog now :)

  18. @Paula: thank so much for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to try my recipe some time.

    @Beth: I love Moroccan food. So definitely start dusting off your cookbooks. It's worth it :o)

    @Aimée: 2 cups of milk weighs about 480 grams. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try. Thanks for visiting. I hope you stop by sometime soon again! :o)

  19. I would love to try these. I'm really interested in moroccan food--just today I was hoping to go during lunch to see Paula Wolfert present her new book (and pick up a signed copy) but I didn't manage to get away. At least I can still ask for it for Christmas ;-) I'd have to try to make these in my cast-iron pan as I don't have nonstick pans but I imagine it would still work?

  20. @Sara: please give these a try. They're not hard to make. And I think an cast-iron skillet would work fine. Paula came to visit your city? I'm soooo envious!!! I have a copy of her new book and it's definitely a must-have for anyone interested in Moroccan cooking. Paula has a Facebook group on Moroccan cooking. Check it out. It has a wealth of info on Moroccan cooking.

  21. We love pancakes. I have to try this one. The baking of it, without greasing the pan, sounds like the buckwheat ployes that are an Acadian staple (Acadiens in Maine are of French descent).

  22. Bonjour de la Sudède
    Thanks for this baghrir recipe, Look really delisious.I'll give it a try since my husband really misses his moms cocking.
    I have tried another recipe a few years ago, but I didn't get all those small bubles that are so tasty.
    Do you have a tasty "khobs" recipe to share as well? I've tried different recipes, modified them as well, but did not get the right taste and texture.
    Shukran and beslama

    1. Bonjour Madelene. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my Baghrir post. This is my mom's recipe and I love it. I hope you give it a try. As for a good recipe for Khobz, I have it. Please email me at HanaasKitchen [at] live [dot] com and I'll email it to you. Beslama!

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    I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I'll definitely comeback.

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  24. It gave me great quinces, and the recipe that I am not happy, I am very grabs! thank you in advance
    I board a good recipe already dealt a site like this

  25. I was wondering, if I could use coarse semolina because of a huge bag of it. Also looking for more recipe's. so that my big bag of semolina would be some how useful. Thanks for lovely blog. so simple and catchy. best of luck.

  26. Hello, Hanaa,
    my beghrir comes out doughy even though it seems to be cooked (color changes, and not gummy to touch). I tried cooking them longer like 4-5 min. also tried cooking with higher heat. I am only using white four, do you think that would be the problem? I have seen white beghrir and I thought it would be OK. Also, I could not get too much bubble, so I increased yeast. The batter is really bubbly before I cook them. I wonder this may be the problem...? Any tips will be appreciated!

  27. I think I'd like to add a bit of anise to make them taste like those thin snowflake-like Italian cookies, but tender and moist.


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