Baghrir (North African Berber pancakes)

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 8
Baghrir (North African Berber pancakes)
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

In a large bowl, use your hands to stir together the semolina and all-purpose flours with the salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir in the yeast and then the 2 tablespoons oil. Slowly begin drizzling in the water, stirring it with your hands to hydrate the dry ingredients. Continue adding water, little by little, to form a batter, working out any large lumps with your fingers. Once all of the water is added, stir in the egg and baking powder. Use a whisk to continue to work the mixture, making sure the batter is smooth with no lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the syrup: In a heavy saucepan, combine the maple syrup, orange juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to reduce until the mixture has the texture of a thin syrup. Remove from heat and keep warm.


Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add enough oil to lightly grease the bottom of the skillet. Ladle the batter into the skillet to form a pancake approximately 8 inches in diameter. As the pancake cooks, the batter will continue to bubble until it begins to set; the pancake will cook only on one side. The top of the pancake will begin to set first along the edges, then toward the center. Continue cooking, gently (the bottom of the pancake will be a light golden), until fully set, about 4 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed so the pancake doesn’t burn before it’s ready.


Using a heat-resistant spatula, carefully remove the pancake to a plate. Brush the top of the pancake with melted butter, then drizzle over a little of the syrup, spreading the syrup so it coats the entire top of the pancake.


Make another pancake the same way, then place the finished pancake over the first, buttering and drizzling over syrup. Repeat until all of the batter is used. This makes several pancakes.


To serve, Cut the pancake stack into quarters, and serve the guests as many pieces from each quarter as desired.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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