Howdy friends, hope you all are doing well. If not, then this will cheer you up. Today I’m going to share with you a simple recipe for how to make moroccan meloui. Lots of people call it Rghaif or Msemen or Mllaoui … I lost track of how many names for it there are in Morocco.
I call them Meloui, just like my mom and the rest of my family.
Also, I speak english, and Msemen, does not sound like something I would like to have for breakfast. I dunno, just a preference.
The Moroccan Pizza Dough
You want to know something funny? In Morocco, we have perfected the art of making great pizza dough. We have used the pizza dough for various recipes and almost anything you can imagine… We turned this staple dough into donuts and fried it, we made it into puffy pancakes, we’ve even made delicious flatbread out of it. The only thing we haven’t done is make actual pizza out of it.
I remember my mom struggling so hard to make a decent pizza dough, she spent years on it. The funny thing is, we always saw pizza as this exotic and foreign food and most of us thought “well it can’t be just a simple bread dough … no no, it’s much more than that!”
So when I got to Montreal, a little over a decade ago, I learned how to make it, from an actual Italian. I could not believe that it was nothing but a baked flatbread topped with sauce and cheese.
The same flatbread, meloui, and Moroccan bread dough that we had been making almost daily.
The take away is
Cuisines, especially those that come from Mediterranean countries, are more similar than they are different. However, we as humans tend to look at the others as different, so we assume that they have an entirely different process when it comes to their food.
They usually don’t.
The blueprint for bread has been laid down by the Egyptians thousands of years ago. Since then, we have pretty much been making the same recipe with few tweaks over and over again.
So why make Moroccan Meloui?
Meloui is fun to make and will give you immense satisfaction to share the successful finished product with the people you love. What does it taste like? The best comparison I can make is that Moroccan Meloui is the love-child of naan bread and a French croissant. It is soft, warm and fluffy like a naan, but has a combination of a croissant’s flakey texture with the softness in the middle. It’s a treat.
How to Make Moroccan Meloui
Making the dough is quite simple really, though ironically, this is probably one of the easiest recipes to mess up. So if you do mess it up, please don’t feel bad. I’ve only recently managed to make it successfully. Not because it was very difficult, but because most of the recipes I have found available for it are sloppy and it’s been years since I’ve witnessed my mom make it. Don’t let this stop you from trying, however, because I’m here to help and you get to learn from my failed attempts.
If you follow my instructions, you should be able to get it right. So here are a few things you should absolutely get right:
- Use rapid rise yeast. This is very important as the dough does not have much time to rise (just around 15 minutes) and it is crucial that the yeast get to do it’s thing.
- Use a combination of melted butter & oil to work your dough. You will probably be shocked with the amounts of butter & oil you will see in this recipe, but I promise you this, without them, this won’t work. Also, it’s what makes Meloui so freaking delicious.
- Don’t let your dough rest for too long. As soon as you form and flatten your Meloui, they should go straight to the pan. No waiting. The resting here is working from one piece to another, that’s all the time it needs.
That been said, here are the ingredients and what you will need to make Meloui:
- All purpose flour
That’s it, 5 Ingredients to fluffy heaven.
Home Chef Tips and FAQs
Can I make this vegan? Yes, you absolutely can. Swap the butter for coconut oil or vegan butter. I have made it with both, they work perfectly.
Is Semolina absolutely Necessary? Yes, it is. It adds strength to your flour which guarantees that your dough will be easier to work with.
I have poked some holes into my Meloui. What do I do? You keep on working. Holes are not going to affect the end result. Check out the video below.
How do I fold my Meloui? Check out this video I made for you.
How do I serve my Meloui? The classic way to serve a Meloui is with butter and honey. You can either make a 50/50 mixture, or just spread them to your liking. I like to roll my Meloui up and cut it in half. Other options are: olive oil with jam; cream cheese with honey; or even Nutella… Taste it and then let your mind go wild with flavour combinations. Lea’s favorite is goat cheese with blueberry jam and mine is cream cheese with honey.
If you have any questions, write them in the comment section below!
How to Make Moroccan Meloui | A.K.A Msemen or Rghaif
- 50 grams fine semolina
- 200 grams all purpose unbleached flour
- 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast
- 100 - 125 ml warm water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup melted butter if vegan, sub for coconut oil or vegan butter
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp semolina
Mix together and place in a bowl for easy access.
To your stand mixer bowl, add semolina, flour, yeast and salt and mix. Attach your dough hook and set to low speed. Start adding your water very slowly until your form a sticky and loose dough. The consistency you are looking for is that of a more relaxed pizza dough. Increase the speed to high and let your machine work at it for another 4 minutes.
In a bowl, mix your melted butter and canola oil. Drizzle some of your mixture on the dough and shape your dough into a ball. Oil your hands once more and divide your dough into 16 small balls. Place your balls on top of an oiled baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let your dough balls rest for 15 minutes.
Drizzle some of your oil and butter mixture onto a smooth working surface and place one dough ball on top of it. Using your hands, start gently flattening your dough. Spread your dough across your surface until it gets very thin. It's okay if you break it a little, it won't matter as we are going to fold it anyway.
Dust with some of your semolina drizzle and gently fold your dough into a square (fold the sides first, top then bottom). Set your folded dough on the side and grab another dough ball. Flatten, spread and dust your dough again. Place your folded square right in the middle of it and fold the extremities to form another square.
Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Gently flatten your Meloui square and transfer to your pan. You can also flatten directly on the pan, like most Moroccan women do. However, that is not something I recommend.
Cook for 1 minute then flip, then for another minute and flip again. Repeat for 3-4 times or until your Meloui is golden brown.
Repeat until you have used all of your dough balls.
Serve with honey and cream cheese. Enjoy!