Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Food I make and eat! Mafrouk, Moroccan flat bread

Asalam waliykum sisters,

Alhamdulillah many of you enjoyed the last "Food i make and eat" Chicken and Mushroom pie!
And some of you sisters been interested in how to make authentic mafrouk, flat Moroccan bread. So Alhamdulillah i have been able to make it a few times last week and while at home visiting the famo (Family).

I really wanted to make a post on this as i have seen a few people online and on youtube make this the wrong way and use completely different ingrediants. So i wanted to put up the authentic way.

Really easy to make, not time consuming and quick to cook too enjoy!

This is what mafrouk looks like, its savoury flat bread. With the recipe and quantities I have used you will make 7 medium sized mafrouks. you can make them bigger or smaller, upto you guys :D


- 1.5 mugs of plain white/bread flour
- 2 mugs of semolina
- 1 packet of yeast
- warm water to mix
- 1 tsp of salt
- cup of vegetable oil to oil a tray
- cup of olive oil while cooking


First thing you will need to get all your ingredients out ready for you to use, and also the pan/Makla (Moroccan large flat cooking pan) and some olive oil set aside near the cooker.

Measure out the flour and semolina and add to a large bowl. Add your yeast and salt and then give it a good mix with your hands. No traditional Moroccan food preparation you use your hands, especially when making bread. have your warm ready, make a small well in the middle of the mixture and add a small amount of water. with the other hand mix. I use my left hand to pour and my right to mix. Keep adding water until the flour, semolina are all combined

Keep mixing, until you begin to get a firm ball gathered, I transferred  mine to the table as the bowl was a bit too small. Place some flour down and oil up your hands to prevent too much sticking to your hands. Knead until the ball is very firm (5-10mins) if too wet, add more flour or if to dry sprinkle on some water. Its easy to rectify if you make a mistake with the quantity.

Once your ball has formed. You need to get a tray, coffee tray anything really and just oil the surface with normal vegetable oil. Then you will need to hold the dough in your hand and remove a small amount of dough about the size of a golf ball/tennis ball maybe a bit smaller.
It depends how big you want the Mafrouk. knead the little ball(s) for a couple of seconds and make it nice and round in your hand. Now place that ball onto the oiled tray. Do the same to the remaining dough.

My tray was a bit to small so i used two trays. You need to cover the tray either with a plastic bag, or a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place to allow the dough balls to rise (15-25mins). They should double in size. So space them out on the tray.

In the meantime start to heat up your pan, if you use a makla it takes a while to heat up and so turn it on as soon as you finish making the dough balls. You will need a small bowl.cup of olive oil. all will be revealed...

I was trying to make the mafrouk and take photos, I had no help so unfortunately I was unable to take photos of the mafrouk and how to fold, due to sticky, oily hands. But its super easy and I will explain step by step.

When the dough balls have risen. Remove one and start to flatten it with your hand in a pressing movement. Not a stretching movement. Oil your hands just before, to avoid waste just run your hands over the surface of the tray you had the dough balls on.

*******(Warning do not use a rolling pin to flatten the dough balls, I have seen someone do this and this it totally wrong, you will ruin the dough and it will not rise)
after you have flattened the dough as much as you can, hold one corner and stretch gently, try not to rip the dough. You want it to be thin so you can just about see your worktop underneath. Do this all the way around the dough.
Now sprinkle some semolina onto the entire dough. 

Firstly grab the left or right side of the flat dough and lift it gently and bring to the centre of the dough. sprinkle more semolina on the folded side and do the same with the other side. Sprinkle more semolina just a little, and then fold the top of the dough down towards the centre, sprinkle semolina and do the same with the lower part of the dough. You will end up with a small sized square that is a little thick due to the folds.

Lift this mafrouk and place near to where you will be cooking, make sure the surface is large enough. As you will need to flatten before cooking.

Repeat the process with the other 6 balls of dough. Until they are all folded. Space evenly near where you will cook.
Let them rest again for 5mins.

Inshallah your pan is nice and hot, put onto a medium/high heat.

With the very first mafrouk you made, remember which one it was? Well you need to now flatten it with you hand press down gently and it will make it larger and flatter. The reason why you need to place the mafrouk near to the cooker, is because you will need to lift it up and if you carry it across the kitchen you will stretch it too much.

So now quickly place it onto the hot pan/makla and you make need to readjust the size and shape after you place into pan. Be careful if you are prone to burn yourself like me, take caution and you do not need to reshape. But if you want a perfect Square then you will need to.  

With that olive oil  you put aside well you need to put a little into your hands. I dip my hand in slightly and scope a small amount. Drizzle over the mafrouk quickly. You will need to flip the mafrouk after only 10-20seconds. So be quick!

Like so, it should still be very pale. Repeat the steps again, drizzle some olive oil onto the surface and allow to cook a little longer this time. If you really can not flip it with your hands, it takes practise, you can use a spatula or tongs. I never used to be able to do it when the tips of my fingers were soft now after many years of burning them i no longer feel the heat LOL

Flip the mafrouk again every minute until the mafrouk is a light golden colour, usually i flip my mafrouk 3-4 times only. If you have your pan on a high heat it will require 4-5 times. Lower heat you will need to do it more.

This is the colour you want, sorry for blurry photo had oily hands and did not want to ruin my brand new camera!! Do not put any olive oil directly into the pan you do not want to fry the bread, you only want a small amount of oil only on the bread and not in the pan. Very important otherwise you end up with greasy bread.

Once cooked,  quickly remove and put somewhere to cool, and cover with tea towel. move quickly onto the next mafrouk.

One all done, they Should be soft, and the layers should be noticeable when you rip the mafrouk in half. If it is too hard then you allowed it to cook to long. Using the tea towel at the end will help keep the mafrouk moist.

These are ok in the fridge for 3 days covered. If you want to store in the freezer you will need some parchment paper, and place one mafrouk then cover with the paper then add another and so on. Then place into a plastic bag and freeze. They can then be defrosted in the microwave, or naturally outside then heat up in the pan for a few seconds.You do not want to cook them again!

We Moroccans like to enjoy mafrouk with traditional Moroccan mint tea (Inshallah make a post on how to make that soon). You can have mafrouk for breakfast or for afternoon tea or as a snack. 
You can enjoy it with Jams, cheese, butter, anything you want to place on top of it as its savoury bread. Me and my family like to enjoy it with honey. During Ramadan which is in 4/5days time Inshallah, I love to drip mine into my Moroccan soup called Harira. Inshallah I will also do a post with the recipe on how to make traditional Moroccan soup.

Basaha! Enjoy guys.

Inshallah you guys found this useful, apologies for not having more photos to show the folding process but you do not need to have a perfect square shape, and first time you will make some mistakes I did. If you want any more information and assistance with the recipe or anything at all. Please feel free to contact me by email or comment below.

Jazakallah khier


  1. Assalamuallikum,

    This looks exactly like Indian flat bread and is prepared almost in the same way :)

  2. Waliykum Asalam,

    Yeah subhanallahm i saw a sister post pictures of indian flat bread on her Fb page and i told her it looks the same. Only hers was round.

    Do you have a recipe sis, i would love to try indian flat bread :D

  3. Salaam
    I am Moroccan too, I don't know what region you are from but I've never heard "mafrouk", we call them "mlawi" or "msamman" here in Morocco.
    Lovely pictures :o)

  4. Salams, hey moroccan sis :D

    I am from Oujda to the east. Where abouts are you from? Yeah in oujda we call it Mafrouk. Zawji is from Meknes and they call it mlawi. So when i say mafrouk all his family look at me strangly so i have had to learn the lingo.

    But i decided to call it Mafrouk on the post becuase this is how its made in Oujda and thats what we call it and i am a "oujada" at heart :D

  5. Salaam Sister,
    I actually tried this a few weeks ago. I followed your recipe but also had a look on youtube to see how to "fold" the dough. It was not a complete success and did not look anything like yours!! I guess first time, but tasted lovely and i tried jam and honey with it.
    Thanks for the recipe. I love moroccan cuisine I am Pakistani. But love arabic food and this is so similar to our breads too.

  6. Waliykum asalam sis,

    Inshallah i hope to do another 'revamped' post for this and this time will get someone to take photos of me folding the dough.
    All i can say is practice, practice, practice...
    But glad you liked it and you found it tasty :D

    wasalam -x-

  7. http://eat-in-morocco.blogspot.com/

  8. Barakallaahu feek. I recently tried this bread and have been eating it for the past few months almost daily but i never knew its proper name - i simply call it Moroccan bread. Btw i did'nt read the whole post for i have no intentions of trying to make it - to lazy for that. I would rather happily pay $3.50 each time i want it.

  9. @Unknown. That is very expensive to pay each time sis. It is cheaper to make at home! You don't need many ingredients and you can make a huge batch and freeze them. And shop ones are never as good as home made. In Morocco I never eat shop ones, they always use olive oil or something worse as it always tastes like clarified butter and greasy.

    You should give it a go!

  10. They look amazing Maa Shaa Allah ukhtee, , they are called in Algeria , Mencemen, and you can also add onions garlic and chopped tomatoes with spices, and put in the center of them and cook, this is called Muhajib, i love the photo it looks very professional!

    1. Jazaka Allah khier Sis.
      Yes in Maghreb we put filling also, but me and my family save that for Ramadan. We use Kefta, shredded carrots and onions that are all pan fried and then add before cooking the Mafrouk. I seen other variations but that is my fav. I am not a fan of garlic, Some parts of Morocco use Garlic in everything But not a fan at all.
      I am part Algerian sis, so I am aware of some of the cooking. I still have some family in west Algeria :)

      Wasalam -x-


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