In truth, it is unlike any savory breads of Europe. Dense, cakey and dry, the sole purpose of this sweet and delicately-fragranced roll is to sop up the juices and sauces from a Moroccan dinner. Its use as a sponge is very effective, and makes for a really delicious accompaniment to hommous, ajvar, tzatziki, or any tagine. Pat says this is very much like the breads in Morocco - DO NOT eat this alone, but DO make it with other dishes. We had it last night with our Moroccan dinner, and it was fabulous.
Nigella-scented Moroccan Rolls
Adapted from Authentic Recipes from Morocco by Fatema Hal
1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine semolina flour
1/2 tsp whole nigella seeds
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Dissolve the yeast in a little of the warm water and set aside.
- Combine the flours and the nigella seeds, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer. Using the paddle attachement, mix well (~1 minute or so).
- Stop the machine and make a well in the center of the flours.
- Add the melted butter and whole egg to the well.
- Use the paddle attachment to mix on the lowest setting until combined, ~45 seconds or so. Stop machine to scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula.
- Start the machine on the lowest setting and slowly add the yeast.
- Add the remaining water until the dough holds together.
- Using the dough hook, knead the dough on the lowest setting for 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from bowl and divide dough into 6 equal pieces (I use a board scraper or knife).
- Roll into balls, sprinkle flour over, and set to rest for 1-2 hours in a warm place.
- Preheat oven to 400F, or 200C.
- Flatten the balls of dough and place on a baking sheet.
- Brush tops with egg wash and prick a few times with a fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.