Monday, May 2, 2011

msemmen (Algerian flatbread)

This past 2 week's I've had the healthy bread in 5 minutes a day checked out of the library.  I have tried a few recipes from there - a broccoli bread - not super impressed, a German bread called vollkornbrot -I didn't care for that either, but Brandon said it tasted like it should.  I was so looking forward to trying this because it had rye flakes and wheat berries in the dough, but the flavor was not what I was expecting.  My favorite of all the breads I've tried in this book is this msemmen.  It was good.  I tried it with the spices written in the book but it was way too spicy. (I used 1 Tablespoon less oil on that batch. The next batch I didn't add any cayenne pepper, but mixed it in the same bowl.  That was perfect for me and the kids.  I did like that one.

Here is how I made it


  • 1/4 lb master recipe (see below)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (I used only 1 on the second batch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (second batch I left this out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 4 cups lukewarm water
Dough directions
  1. Basically mix everything together in a large lidded container until well combined.  Leave on the counter for 2 hours.  Put in the fridge overnight - Use as directed in whatever recipe.
Msemmen directions
  1. Mix oil, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl.  Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  
  2. Spread oil over the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge.  Roll up into a log like you would a cinnamon roll.  Take the log and roll it into a coil.  Let rest loosely covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
  3. After the rest, roll the coil out flat until it is an 1/8 inch thick circle.  
  4. I baked mine on my electric skillet like I do tortillas.  Bake 2 to 5 minutes each side until done.

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