Moroccan Flatbreads (R'ghayef)

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Pair these veggie-stuffed flatbreads with a colorful bell pepper and feta cheese salad with olives for an inspired North African meal. Make up to one day ahead; reheat breads in a warm oven. A leftover flatbread with soup makes a good light lunch.

Yield:

4 servings (serving size: 2 flatbreads)

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 331
Fat 8.9 g
Satfat 1.2 g
Monofat 5.7 g
Polyfat 1.3 g
Protein 7.8 g
Carbohydrate 54.5 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 3.9 mg
Sodium 730 mg
Calcium 40 mg

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (100° to 110°)
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon canola oil, divided

Preparation

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 minutes. Shape dough into a ball; invert bowl over the dough, and let stand for 15 minutes. Uncover; knead dough 3 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a ball; lightly coat with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Combine onion and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl.

3. Working with one dough portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), carefully flatten each portion into a 6 1/2-inch circle (dough will be delicate). Spoon 2 tablespoons onion mixture in center of dough. Fold sides of dough over filling (see "Foolproof Flatbreads," below). Fold one short side under dough. Fold other short side over dough. Gently press square of dough to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions and onion mixture.

4. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 flatbreads to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden. Transfer flatbreads to a parchment paper-lined platter. Repeat procedure with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and 4 flatbreads. Serve immediately.

Foolproof flatbreads. Homemade breads are at the heart of Moroccan cuisine and culture: Used as serving utensils to scoop up food at meals, they're also a symbol of hospitality since bread is shared with guests. Carry on the Mediterranean tradition by welcoming diners to your table with Moroccan Flatbreads, substantial enough for an entrée or as a partner for soup or salad. Add cheese or herbs to vary the filling. Follow these steps for working with the dough and shaping the breads.

1. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray, if needed, to avoid tearing the dough. Carefully flatten each dough portion to a 6 1/2-inch round; the dough will be delicate and very thin at this point.

2. Fold the dough to make a square package: Fold 2 opposite sides over filling; then fold one short side over dough and one short side under dough. Lightly press the square to seal.

3. Because the dough is tender and thin, it crisps and browns nicely when heated. Carefully turn flatbreads over when golden and slightly crisp on bottom.

Note:

Anissa Helou,

October 2009