There is something about cooking bread in a skillet that’s so encouraging. The fact that you don’t have to turn on the oven and bake the bread makes it seem so much easier even though it may not necessarily be. In any case, I’m still totally attracted to anything labeled “no-bake”, “skillet” or “stove-top” like impossible. Perhaps, that’s why I prefer matlouh to other breads.
It is amazing how many names a single food can have.
This skillet bread is called matlouh (matlou3), batbout, mkhamer, and a few other names, depending on where you are in Morocco.
I like variety but sometimes wish there were some sort of national summit in each country to unify food names. I mean, think about it…, wouldn’t everyone be happier if soda had the same name across the United States?
That would mean less human memory space used, less dictionary paper wasted, fewer trees cut…and less foreigners, like me, confused.
Despite this bread’s many confusing names with hard to pronounce letters, it is absolutely delicious. Soft, pliable, and lightly leavened, it is heavenly with a simple spread of butter and honey. It is also really really great for sandwiches.
Did I mention it was great for sandwiches?
Yields 4 breads
- 1 cup semolina
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp warm water (not hot or cold)
- 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
Place the semolina and whole wheat flour in a large bowl and whisk in the salt. Pour warm water into a small bowl, add yeast and sugar, and let the yeast activate for a few minutes. Add the diluted yeast and oil to the dry mixture. Mix well using your hands and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it’s supple and elastic.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape into balls. On a surface dusted with semolina, use your hands to flatten the balls into discs ¼ -inch thick. Cover with a dry towel and let sit 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat. Place one bread in the skillet. Flatten it a little more and cook until golden, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining breads.
Serve the matlouh warm with butter and honey or fruit jam. Don’t forget a good cuppa to sip with it.