Moroccan Style Semolina Flatbread

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by Heather Harris Brady

When the summer heat is on in full force flatbread is your friend. It will give you all the yeasty, fresh baked goodness without turning the oven on. I got the inspiration for this recipe from Paula Wolfert’s amazing The Food of Morocco. If you like cookbooks with stories like I do, you will love it.

Semolina is a very popular grain in that part of the world, and it gives this flatbread a really nice depth of flavor. You could have it with anything but I threw together a sort of Moroccan pizza. Typically I think it would be topped with lamb, but I had set aside some ground turkey so that’s what I used for the topping. You could make awesome appetizers just by making tiny little flatbreads and topping them with a little spoonful of the sauce.

Moroccan Semolina Flatbread, Makes about Eight Large Flatbreads

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 c. finely ground semolina (I used semolina pastry flour.)

1/2 c. warm water

1 pkg. quick-rising yeast

1 t. granulated sugar

1 T. olive oil

1 t. kosher salt

Mix the yeast, sugar and water together. Combine the flours and salt in a separate bowl. When the yeast is foamy, add it to the flour and stir well.
Stir in the olive oil.

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We’re going for a soft, non-sticky dough – so depending on your flour you may need to add a little more water. Just add a tablespoon if it seems too dry and dribble a little more in after that if you think you need it.

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Let rise until doubled.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured worksurface and knead it for 2-3 minutes.

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Divide it into eight balls and roll the first one out until it is about 1/4″ thick. Once you get going you’ll have one on the griddle and one ready to roll. . .

Heat up an electric griddle or cast-iron fry pan and grease it lightly with olive oil. Lay the first flatbread on the griddle.

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When it begins to bubble, turn it over.

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Let it cook for about 30 seconds and then give it one more flip. Let it cook for another 15-20 seconds. Each side should have some pale brown freckles. Stack them in a tea towel to steam as you finish the rest.

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I topped these with Moroccan-spiced ground turkey. Add two cups of cooked ground turkey with 1/2 of a sliced medium onion to the hot griddle and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add 1 T. unsweetened ketchup, 1 t. harissa (or more if you want it really hot) and 1 t. ground coriander. Cook for five minutes, stirring, until the meat is coated with the sauce.

Top each flatbread with the meat and serve with a side of fresh veggies or salad.

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