In the last two years, I have learned to create a series of tortillas from all over the world. I made my way through an Indian hand stretched naan, a rich, buttery Persian nan-e qandiand crunchy Armenian lavash, similar to a cracker. But it was the rickety, elastic, good alone or used-as-a-wrap msemen (or m & # 39; smen) from Morocco that really captured my imagination.
I was introduced by the people of Hot Bread Kitchen, a New York-based bakery that trains and gives space to women with different backgrounds to thrive in the world of culinary work. Reading more about these quick cooking doughs, I discovered that the Moroccan focaccia is made similarly to the Viennoiserie pastry, rolled like a croissant, even if it looks more like a multi-layered tortilla.
The dough itself is easy to prepare, consisting of little more flour, semolina, yeast, salt, sugar and fat. The suffix "smen" is Arabic and although it is a term that refers to a type of fermented clarified butter popular in Moroccan cuisine, many of the recipes I've seen call for clarified butter or simple oil, or sometimes a mix of the two.
After making the dough, it is pressed and ironed until it is very thin, then greased with fat and bent. With each fold, more delicious and tasty layers are created.
Cigars are traditionally served during breakfast along with a cup of mint tea, and it is delicious dipped in honey, which only strengthens its buttery richness. Obviously you do not have to follow this project. For example, Hot Bread Kitchen produces both traditional and non-traditional masks, including a stuffed with cabbage and cheese.
In coming with my iteration of the msemen, I added the mint leaves ripped to the first fold of folds as a nod to the usual cup of tea. A thin semolina is sprinkled between each layer, to avoid sticking during cooking, helping each layer to be more defined. This message is best if eaten fresh from the oven, but can also be wrapped in plastic and heated after a day or two, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
While the msemen paste is usually "cooked" on a plate, the broiler here speeds up the process, but still produces a well browned and boiled bread. The broiler works particularly well with msemen because the bread is flat, which means that there are no high points closer to the broiler that would burn before the most distant areas are ready – something that would happen if you tried to cook the pasta that has more than a loaf of similar shape.
One thing is certain; flat like bread, the taste is all different.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; Your purchases through these links can benefit from Serious Eats. More information on our affiliate linking policy.