Baghrir: Moroccan Pancakes
The more holes your baghrir has the finer it is according to baghrir connoisseurs. As I watchfully stood in front of the stove contemplating my first baghrira cooking, my heart pounded heavily. I was relieved each time a pore formed. By the time it was cooked, it was porous throughout. My face beamed with pride and relief. What an embarrassment would it have been to present my mother with a hole-less-American-pancake-looking baghrira. The news of my failure would have traveled all the way to Morocco through Kasbahs and riads, reaching friends, relatives and enemies.
But, nay, it was a victory worth celebrating with mint tea, a success to be recorded for posterity. Whew!
Baghrir Recipe with Honey Butter Syrup
8 to 12 servings
For the baghrir
2 cups fine semolina or cornmeal (preferably semolina)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk, warm but comfortable to the touch
2 cups water, warm but comfortable to the touch
For the syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup honey (preferably orange blossom)
Add all the ingredients for the baghrir to the container of a blender and blend until a homogenous batter is obtained. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow it to rest at room temperature 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat until very hot. Gently stir the batter with a spoon to make a little lighter. Pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet and cook until its surface is porous and the batter dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Baghrir cooks on only one side so there is no need to turn it over.
Prepare the syrup by melting the butter and honey over low heat until hot and sizzling, 2 to 4 minutes. Top the baghrir liberally with syrup and serve immediately. Store remaining baghrir coverered in the refrigerator and microwave it for 15 to 20 seconds before use.