Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I am back with another Moroccan Batbout recipe which I read is very popular during Ramadan. This time it is a mini Batbout which I like to call skillet buns as it is prepared on the stovetop and can be filled with anything you like. Before getting on to the recipe details let me share an interesting event.

Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

Last Tuesday is a day to remember in my life here in Yanbu. For the first time, I stepped out of the building ALONE and took 45 seconds walk to a friend's home who I had introduced some time ago. With more people moving here and newer buildings come up, it seems to be safer to step out alone. I also learnt that some ladies do take the march to meet fellow species during the day. So all I had to do was muster the courage. 

Unlike other big cities of Saudi Arabia, hiring a taxi while alone here is still unheard of. But lately, I got to know that taxi services are growing here and ladies do opt for it. So maybe next time I can go out with her for some girl time shopping. 😉 InshaAllah. 

Stepping out was easy but hearing Ragee meow from behind the closed doors made a knot in my stomach. Even though she is used to being left alone when we go to the supermarket, I strongly believe she has the sense to understand this was not a norm. But I had to leave promising to be back soon. 

The walk out of the building and onto the road was so liberating in a way that made me wonder why I took so long to do this. I spent half a day with her reminding her every hour that my Ragee is alone. Being a cat owner most of her life, she assured me Ragee will be fine. Still... 

She served a sumptuous breakfast that included Tuna sandwich and Chicken Walnut Pom salad, and lots of black tea and chattering! Later in the afternoon we walked back to my home and spent the rest of the evening until her hubby came to pick her up. I couldn't be happier to find out that Ragee became friendly with both her and her two-year-old son. It was a heartwarming moment to watch Ragee fall asleep while watching us babbling and laughing and sipping chai. Alhamdulillah.  

Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

Okay, so back to today's recipe. The first time I attempted making Batbout was because I had run out of bread and it was a Friday. I picked a recipe off the internet and had no time to save links etc. I was thrilled to actually see buns being made in my nonstick pan with no much effort and the whole house was smelling like a bakery. I filled those Batbouts with Sawsan's Shish Tawook

The second time around too I made a batch of Batbouts more from Fatemaisokay's hamburger skillet buns video recipe. This time I stuffed with Noha's beef Koftas. It was a winner. 

The third time I made Batbouts for the Peruvian Grilled Chicken from Shazia's blog. Honestly, I made Batbout for the blog and thought a grilled chicken picture would be great for my blog. :-P Alas, we felt that the Peruvian grilled chicken was finger licking good on its own and Batbout was not required at all. 😋 So we used them to stack burgers with my stock of beef burger patties and labneh on the same night. So no picture was taken.  

Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

I used one Batbout recipe altering the liquid from water to milk and I have to mention both were good but I prefer the milk version better. Just like Msemen and Meloui, even these Moroccan Batbouts do not have one fixed recipe. I have noticed many using equal volume or semolina and flour, some using only flour and very little semolina etc. So play around until you get your favourite way but this is my version. 

Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns
(with milk)

I have tried replacing 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour or atta. There is a huge difference in the texture and body so I stick to Patent Flour. 

Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

Yields 7 to 8 Mini Batbouts 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine semolina
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
1 cup warm full-fat milk or water (I have not tried with other types of milk)*
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon dried oregano or any herb of choice (optional)


more semolina to dust the surface

*The addition of milk instead of water resulted in sturdier buns while with water the Batbout had softer body Traditionally, water is added. 



Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

METHOD

Preparing the Dough
  1. Combine all the dry items like the flours, semolina, sugar, salt, yeast in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Make a well and add the olive oil and choice of herb and give a good mix
  3. Gradually start adding the milk/water and mix to form a soft dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to lightly floured surface on the counter top and knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If it gets too sticky, then add a little flour and knead and if it is too tight and dry, then sprinkle some water and knead. As we are using fine semolina, the dough will absorb more moisture as you keep kneading, so sprinkling water while kneading will result in the soft and desirable dough for Batbout.
  5. Divide the dough into equal smooth balls in the size of a small lemon and leave them to rest, on a lightly floured surface for about 20 minutes. Keep them covered all time. 

Preparing the dough balls to rise

  1. Prepare a clean surface where you will be laying the rolled out Batbouts to rise. Sprinkle fine semolina over the surface before placing the rolled-out dough. 
  2. Roll out each ball into a thin circle of 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the rolled out dough on the prepared surface/tray and keep covered while working on the rest of the dough balls similar way. 
  3. Leave to the Batbouts to rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size. 

Preparing the mini Batbouts

  1. Preheat a non-stick pan or a cast iron pan over medium heat and wait till it gets really hot.
  2. Carefully lift the Batbouts from the surface and transfer to the pan. Add as much as the pan can hold. 
  3. Flip the Batbouts several times, until golden brown on both sides. The browning will be a bit uneven and they puff up as it gets cooked
  4. Transfer the cooked Batbout to a towel-lined basket to cool. 
  5. Stuff them with anything you fancy. For example beef kebab, grilled chicken, burger patties etc. 

Mini Batbout | Moroccan Skillet Buns

(with a portion of wheat flour)

I like this Moroccan blogger's article about Batbouts that I came across when drafting this post. 

The Mini Batbouts are left to rise longer because we want a thicker bread that can hold the stuffing. You can make a thinner version and I already have a thinner Batbout recipe that is used to scoop up curries. These Batbouts can be made in any shapes and size and freezes well too.

I can't wait for Ramadan to start! 😇because as usual, I have not made any prep. 😁

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