Skillet Bread – “Rghayef”-

This is one of the Berber breads, typical to the south of Morocco. Making it requires average baking skills, and a little practice. The reward however is well worth it. There is no comparison between how homemade skilled bread tastes and a store bough pita bread that looks similar. I vividly encourage you to “put your hands in the dough” at least once in your life. It’s fun, and it would make you feel good, knowing that you don’t really have to depend on someone else to bake your bread!

You will also need two kitchen towels (cotton fabric) and two small blankets for this recipe.

Ingredients:

1½ Cup all-purpose flour

1 Cup fine semolina + ¾ cup

2 rapid-rise yeast

½ Teaspoon salt

1 to 1 ½ Cup of warm water (or just enough water to get a thick and slightly sticky dough)

Preparation:

Dissolve the yeast and salt in ¼ cup of water. Add it to the flour.

Adding water slowly, knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes until thick but slightly sticky. If you think you have added too much water, don’t worry, the flour will absorb it.

Form one big ball of dough. Sprinkle your working surface with flour or semolina and rub it with your hands to get rid or any sticky dough.

Cover the dough with a plastic film and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Squeeze the dough between your thumb and pointer to cut a 3 to 4 centimeters diameter balls, roll them between your palms to round them  and set them on a flat surface.

Sprinkle your working surface with semolina, place each ball of dough on it and use your fingers to flat down the dough, moving your hand in a circle, to make a flat, 0.5 centimeter thick disk.

Lay a blanket over a table or any flat surface. Lay a cotton cloth on top of it and sprinkle over it with some semolina.

Carefully, transfer the dough disks to the blanket. Just lift the dough from two corners with your thumbs and pointers and slide the other fingers under it to lift it. Don’t worry, it will not rip off!

Once you have finished transferring all the dough disks to the blanket, sprinkle over them with the remaining semolina, cover them with a cotton cloth, then with a blanket.

Let the dough rise for at least one hour, until the dough had doubled in thickness.

Preheat a heavy nonstick skillet on medium heat. Carefully transfer each disk to the skillet and cook it for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side. The breads should split from the middle and get filled with air like an air pocket.

Repeat the same steps until you have cooked all the dough disks.

Serve the breads preferably soon after cooking, or wrap them in a cotton cloth and store them in the refrigerator. Warm them in a toaster before serving.

Excellent for dipping in olive oil and honey, served with Moroccan mint tea.