Biting into a warm, crusty roll or savoring the sweetness of a puff pastry, it's hard to beat the pure pleasure of bread. Bread is a staple of Moroccan cuisine, and an array of flavorful styles have been created to satisfy any palette. Here is just a taste of the extraordinary types of bread Morocco has to offer.
Types of Moroccan Bread
Krachel is a type of sweet roll that uses green anise seeds, sesame seeds, and orange flower water to make a tasty breakfast treat. Usually served with a cup of tea, Krachel is often made for the month of Ramadan and can be paired with butter, cheese, or jam to create a genuinely mouth-watering Moroccan dish.
A delicious stove-top based bread, msemen (rghaif) is a flat pancake-like bread that's shaped like a napkin. Its name comes from the Arabic word "smen" which mean's "clarified butter," an ingredient used to make the bread. Fill the dough with meat such as kefta (ground beef or lamb) and/or veggies and serve with mint tea and you'll have a delicious dining experience.
Semolina is used quite often in Moroccan cooking, and Harcha is no exception. Harcha's pan-fried consistency is similar to a biscuit, but it tastes akin to cornbread. Originally made with oil, this yummy bread uses butter to concoct a crumbly, rich galette that goes great with jam or honey.
Mahrash is a rough, round Moroccan khobz (bread) used for scooping up meat and veggies. What makes the texture so coarse is the addition of barley grits to the ingredients, consisting of vegetable oil and a mixture of wheat and white flours. Mahrash is also used to eat the famous Moroccan stew dish known as the tagine.
Ksra (or kesra) is a flatbread similar to focaccia, made from a mix of barley and semolina flour. Like krachel, anise seeds are added for extra licorice flavor. At its best, ksra is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Dipped in a tagine, the bread soaks up all the marqa (sauce), making the taste irresistible.
This soft, doughy bread is similar to a pita pocket in shape and function. Like a pita, the center is stuffed with vegetables, meats, and cheeses to make a satisfying lunch. Unlike traditional oven-based bread, batbout is a stove-top bread made with semolina and white flour. You'll know when it's done too -- the dough rises!
If you're craving a calzone, try the Moroccan version instead, called a medfouna. Otherwise known as "Berber pizza," medfouna is stuffed with beef or lamb, eggs, and vegetables, and is often cooked in a sandpit. A vegetarian version can also be created substituting meat for olives, onions, and bell peppers and using dashes of paprika, cumin, and coriander.
Khobz (the Moroccan term for bread) comes in many different forms. Once such variation is Khobz Mzaweg, literally "decorated bread." A crisscrossed design is achieved with the use of a sharp knife, while sesame and nigella seeds create a black and white sprinkling in the dough. Brushed with egg yolk, the bread comes out golden and delicious.
Moroccan Uses for Bread
Bread in Morocco serves two purposes - it's both a food and a utensil. Many Moroccans use bread to pick up veggies and meats, soak up the broth in a tagine, and even spread butter. Only the right hand is used to do this, however, since the left is viewed unsanitary, and therefore not used at the table. Afterward, leftover bread is given as animal feed so nothing goes to waste.
Whether rough or soft, doughy or crumbly, Moroccan bread is both delicious and decadent. Get your hands on one of these breads, and you'll love them too!