More like crepes, I came across this recipe one day at work while paging through an older issue of Food & Wine magazine on my lunch break. After having an amazing marzipan pudding made with semolina in Berlin (a recipe that will hopefully be up here soon), I’ve been obsessed with the idea of semolina. More specifically, the idea of semolina in places you wouldn’t normally find it (i.e. outside the homemade pasta world). Luckily, this recipe was almost accidentally vegan!
Originating in Marrakech, crepes may not sound that interesting (okay, maybe that’s a lie), but these are A-MAZING. The semolina gives it a really amazing texture, or rather, “mouthfeel” if you will (teehee). Without the eggs, vegan crepes and pancakes tend to be a bit flatter, but these are perfect in my opinion. In fact, I was so enamored with these after my first bite that I immediately went on Skype and gushed about how delicious they were, mouth full of food, for about 30 minutes. If you need more evidence, I finished the entire batter myself within 2 days.
What’s unique about these is that they have yeast. Thus, while cooking they get these little holes, which you can see in the picture below. Thus, it’s almost like a flat crumpet. Perfect for catching fillings if you ask me!
You only cook them on one side and after making the batter, it’s a pretty simple ordeal. Yeah, you have to let the batter rise for an hour, but whatever, perfect time to do the dishes and check your e-mail! The recipe calls for mixing in a food processor and I’m not sure if it’s really necessary. The semolina is already in flour form, so perhaps the only point is to break up lumps. I haven’t tried it without the processor yet though, so if you do, chime in and let me know how it turns out! I’m sure a blender would work equally as well for this, as the batter is very liquidy.
Without further ado, on to the best breakfast of your life. Although, I’m sure these would also transition well into a savory crepe/pancake or a tasty dessert…
Beghrir (Semolina Pancakes)
- 3 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups fine semolina sometimes called extra-fancy durum flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- canola/vegetable oil for cooking
For the topping
- 1/3 cup sweet syrup of your choice i.e. agave, maple, honey if you eat it
- 6 tablespoons Earth Balance magarine melted
- In a bowl, combine 1/4 of the warm water with the baking powder and set aside.
- In your food processor/blender, throw in the semolina flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar and the remaining cups 2 3/4 cups of warm water. Yes, I was freaked out by food processing yeast too, don't worry.
- Process about 30 seconds until smooth.
- Add the salt and baking powder mixture and process another 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into a large bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and coat with a thin layer of oil. You want a pan about 10 inches, though this depends on how big you want your pancakes. If you want them smaller, use a smaller pan, etc.
- While the pan is heating up combine the syrup with the melted butter. You can do this in a small saucepan over low heat if you need. If cooking for someone whose soy-free, make sure to get the soy-free variety of Earth Balance (duh).
- After the batter has finished rising, whisk it until creamy.
- Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter into the hot pan, tilting the pan to distribute it evenly. I found it's better to lift the pan up off the heat for this part so it doesn't cook immediately and make it hard to distribute into a big circle. Your first one will probably come out misshapen, but it will still taste good!
- Cook the batter over medium heat until bubbles appear all over the surface and the bottom is pale golden, about 2 minutes.
- Shake the skillet to loosen the pancake, or in my case, slide something under the edge of the pancake to loosen it, then slide it onto a plate.
- Drizzle with your syrup-butter mixture and serve right away.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter!
I’ve had success storing it for 2 days, but am not sure how much longer it could go. However, when you store it in the fridge, make sure you put it in a container bigger than itself, as it will continue to rise. Perhaps a container or plastic wrap with a hole poked in it would be good, so the gases can escape, though I just pushed the top to release the gases every time I opened the fridge.