How to make babysitting a funny activity for you and for the child you are taking care of? This is what I was wondering last Sunday, while I was taking care of a little 3-year-old boy, son of close friends of mine. Of course, we played with toys – cars, trains, and trucks -, we did some coloring and watched cartoons. But after one hour of these, and maybe because he was not in a familiar environment, the poor child was not amused anymore. Why not taking him to my world (i.e. my kitchen)?, I wondered...
So we went to the kitchen and started to check out flour and tools from the closet. What did I want to do? Bread, of course! « Can I do it? », he asked. And so we started a bakery workshop, just for the two of us. For this first experience of making bread with a kid, I chose a recipe that would possibly require a short rising time, and, most of all, which would be fun to prepare. This is why I chose batbout, a classic of Moroccan bakery. Batbout is a skillet loaf, made of wheat flour and fine semolina. The mix proportions depend on family preferences. The skillet cooking process, not only is quick, but also makes it a fun activity, I thought, for a kid. Just like pancakes!
This kind of bread can be served on several occasions. With butter and honey, it is perfect for breakfast. Plain, it is also very nice with a meal, especially a tajine. Making batbout doesn’t require any particular technique, neither a bread machine: just some patience, since you need 1 hour of rising. But you will find below a trick to go faster!
I have always loved the very special fragrance of skillet bread. It is really different from traditional oven bread. The panning gives it a different texture, because unlike the oven, it does not allow even cooking. Therefore the crumb inside is softer. To give this batbout a special ‘sweet’ twist – which, I figured, would please more my young audience of the day -, I added some green anise in it.
In the following recipe, I used whole wheat, although it is regular wheat that is generally used for this kind of bread. Regarding the flour / semolina proportions, I did several tries and I really like the mix I am giving below. But you can also try – if you need, for example, to follow a low glycemic index diet – a higher quantity of whole wheat. Because I am not sure whether we cant find whole semolina for the moment. You can easily go until a ¾ flour – ¼ semolina mix.
Anise Skillet ‘Batbout’ Bread
Makes 5 roll loaves
180 g / 6,3 oz whole wheat flour
120 g / 4,2 oz wheat semolina
2 tbsp anise
5 g / 1 tsp baking yeast
20 cl / ~ 1 cup lukewarm water
Dissolve the yeast in some lukewarm water.
Pour the flour, the semolina and the anise in a large bowl. Make a hollow and gradually add the yeast and the water. Mix and form a dough with hands. Knead for 5 minutes. Then, cover with a dry cloth and let it rest for 1 hour. If you want to go faster, heat your oven at minimum temperature for 5 minutes, turn down and place the dough there for 30 minutes.
On the bench, pour some semolina and spread the dough, using a rolling pin. Try to have a thickness of less than 1 cm. With a round cookie cutter, cut small loaves.
Heat the skillet, pouring some oil in it. Stir the loaves, until they look golden.
Hi there! I'm Majda.
Foodie, yogini, life lover!
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