A baghrir is a light, spongy pancake made from semolina flour. Traditionally from Morocco, they have tiny holes that are perfect for filling with melted honey or butter when cooked correctly.
Because of semolina flour, baghrir is called spongy pancakes because when they are cooked, they have holes within them. Due to this, it is also known as a thousand-hole pancake. With a few drops of honey, you can serve this spongy pancake as breakfast or as a side dish for brunch.
Sounds yummy, isn’t it? Let’s prepare some Baghrir pancakes for breakfast then!
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How to Prepare Algerian Baghrir Pancakes
Recipe: The Fluffy Algerian Baghrir Pancake Delight
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp dry yeast active
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp white granulated sugar
- Butter for frying the pan cakes
- 1 ½ cup fine semolina flour
- ¼ cup honey optional topping
- ¼ cup melted butter
- In a blender combine all ingredients, except the butter for frying and the optional toppings. Blend for a minute or until the mixture forms into the batter and all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Place the batter in a mixing bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel, letting it rise for at least 30 minutes. Gently mix it after the batter has risen. You want it to be thick, but still fairly thin, like heavy cream. To loosen up the batter or if it's too thick, add a splash or two of water and mix well.
- Over medium heat, preheat a nonstick griddle or skillet for two minutes. In the middle, melt a tablespoon of butter. Stir the batter, then spoon about ¼ cup of it into the center, tilting the pan to encourage the batter to spread.
- Cook for two to three minutes, or until the baghrir develops holes and feels dry to the touch.
- You don't have to flip these pancakes over; they are done when you can easily slide a spatula under them and see dozens of holes start to appear on the top.
- While you prepare the remaining pancakes, transfer to a plate lined with a clean dishtowel and cover to keep warm. To prevent your baghrir from sticking before serving, keep pieces of the towel in between them.
- You can also choose to transfer each pancake to a baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batter.
- Drizzle with honey and butter, and enjoy!
- For a sweeter option, spread 1 tablespoon of Nutella on top and roll the pancake up to eat.
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Ideas for Toppings for Baghrir
You have so many options when it comes to toppings and pancakes. Here are some ideas;
- Honey & Butter
This is the most traditional topping you’ll find anywhere when served baghrir or pancake. The trick is to melt some butter and honey together in a saucepan and drizzle it over your baghrir just before serving.
- Date Syrup
Date syrup is a deliciously rich, naturally sweet topping for these pancakes, whether you make it from scratch or purchase it already made.
- Maple Syrup or Nutella
For a more conventional American or Canadian alternative, if you don’t like honey, try Nutella or some fine maple syrup.
How is Baghrir Different from Other Pancakes?
Baghrir pancakes are unique on their own. Apart from the special ingredients, here’s how they differ;
They are also known as “thousand hole pancakes,” an Algerian and Moroccan speciality, because of the distinctive tiny holes you can see across them.
Baking powder, or soda, is commonly used in pancake recipes. These cause the release of carbon dioxide bubbles when combined with other ingredients, signaling for you to turn them over.
However, the holes are still present in the case of beghrir, and its pliable nature makes it ideal for soaking up honey, butter, syrup, or any other topping you choose to serve it with.
Cooked on Just One Side
You don’t have to flip Baghrir on the other side to cook it. Cooking or frying it on one side is enough.
Semolina is a kind of wheat flour, just like all-purpose flour. The distinction is that semolina is produced from durum wheat, which has a higher gluten content than regular wheat flour.
It’s ideal for making pasta shapes, cakes, cornbread, and pancakes because the additional gluten adds structure. Additionally, beghrir made from semolina flour has a gorgeous golden hue.
Yeast in the batter
In this recipe, you use active dry yeast in place of baking soda or powder. This makes both bread flour and semolina flour rise with the help of yeast. Consequently, the pancakes are airy, light, and spongy.
Baghrir Recipe Tips
Make the Batter in a Blender.
The best way to make the batter is in a blender. Blending adds air, resulting in a smoother batter that is less likely to have lumps.
Allow the Batter to Rest for 30 Minutes.
Keep in mind that this recipe calls for yeast. For the yeast to do its job, cover the bowl of batter and let it rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
After rising, the batter should be substantially thicker but still relatively thin, similar to the consistency of heavy cream. It will be impossible for bubbles to form while cooking if the batter is too thick. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the batter and mix to thin it. After that, cover it and give it another 10 minutes to rest before using it.
Don’t Forget the Sugar
Yeast needs to feed on sugar to do its job, so don’t leave it out. You can use an equal amount of honey or molasses if processed sugar is off-limits.
Cook on Moderate Heat
The baghrir’s edges will curl upward if the skillet is heated to a high temperature. You should be fine if you keep the heat at medium.
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