Moroccan Country Bread

I really missed blogging about food. I’m happy to post again after a long hiatus. Rest assured, I’ve been eating well, I just haven’t had the time to snap pretty pictures and blog about it.

Speaking of pretty pictures, last year, I traveled to Morocco with my husband. This was truly one of my favorite vacations. The beautiful hues of blue painted on the doors of houses, the trance-like rhythm of Gnawa music, the aroma of spices and all the beautiful artwork of artisans. It really was a total sensory experience. One couldn’t help but feel inspired by the beauty of Morocco.

Moroccan food is also delightful and lovely. In the morning, we were spoiled with platters of crepes or pancakes, served with freshly squeezed orange juice and mint tea. Dinner typically involved tender stewed lamb tajines, vegetable soups,  desserts with hints of fig and dates. I especially enjoyed the variety of breads that accompanied our meals.

Not long ago, a good friend gave me a Moroccan cookbook, with lots of beautiful pictures and descriptions. Reminiscing on my amazing vacation, I decided to make Kesra or Moroccan Country Bread. This bread is SO GOOD, I could eat it all day! It has a crispy outside and moist, buttery  inside. I paired it with a curried pea soup (recipe to come in later post) and was very pleased with the results.

What you need.

2 loaves of country bread (kesra)

  • 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP melted butter (or ghee, if you’re lucky enough to have it)
  • 2 1/4 c. lukewarm water
  • 2 oiled baking sheets or flat pizza pans
  • sesame seeds, for sprinkling (optional) – I used flax seeds b/c I didn’t have sesame

How you make it.

  1. Put yeast, sugar + 1/4 c water in a small bowl
  2. Place flour, cornmeal and salt in a large bowl and stir well with a fork (about 1 min)
  3. Melt 2 TBSP of butter over low heat
  4. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and pour in yeast mixture and melted butter
  5. Gradually add the lukewarm water and use your hands or a wooden spoon to form the dough
  6. Place dough on a lightly floured and need until elastic and smooth
  7. Divide dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece into a ball then flatten to about 8 inches in diameter
  8. Place the flattened dough on the prepared baking sheets and cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place  for about 1 hour or until they’ve doubled in size
  9. Preheat the oven to 425 F
  10. Prick the dough with a fork about 4 -5 times and sprinkle with seeds
  11. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and back another 15 minutes
  12. Dough is done when it’s crisp, golden and sounds hollow when tapped

Bon Appétit!

(Recipe adapted from Ghillie Basan’s Flavors of Morocco)

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