Moroccan Bread: Marrakech Bread Recipe

Marrakech bread, khobz bishemar, is prepared in much the same way as traditional bread but with a rich filling of fat and spices. The fat released from the filling fries the bread and gives it a taste similar to pizza crust.

Makes 4

280g (10 oz) unbleached flour
115g (¼ lb) beef suet
18g (¼ oz) active dry yeast
4 teaspoons unsalted, melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley
4 tablespoons finely-sliced onions
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 dried red chilli pepper

Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of lukewarm water and leave until it starts to bubble and doubles in volume. Meanwhile, make the filling by pounding the parsley, onion and spices in a mortar and mincing the suet. Mix the two together and set aside.

Mix the salt and flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture with some lukewarm water. Start to work all the flour in, mixing well and start to knead the dough. Only add enough water to make a firm dough. Knead well, pushing outward with clinched fists, until the dough is smooth and has a good elasticity. At this point, divide the dough into four equal balls.

Now flatten a dough ball into disc shape about 20cm (8”) by 35cm (14”). Spread a quarter of the filling in the centre and fold the right side and then the left side over the filling. Flatten and stretch the dough to the same shape as before and then fold again, now left side first. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Dust with semolina, and cover with a dry tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until the dough packages double in size.

Prick them with a fork a few times on both sides and place on the griddle. The fat from the fillings will run out through the prickled holes and will begin to fry the bread. Fry 10 minutes on each side until crispy.

Serve hot with a teaspoon of melted butter.