ALGERIA: Kesra Bread

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This was the first thing I cooked, and it was sure a grand start! Normally eaten in eastern Algeria, you don’t need olive oil with this bread, It’s basically included! Without further ado, The Algerian Kesra bread!

You need 2 cups of Semolina flour (which you can find at Whole Foods or other Organic Food shops),

¼ cup of olive oil (adds a lot of taste),

1 teaspoon of salt,

¼ teaspoon of baking powder (to make it “bake”),

½ teaspoon of sugar,

And almost a cup of water.

Mix the semolina, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Add the olive oil and mix with your fingers (If I were you, I’d wash my hands) until it feels like wet sand, even though it is yellow and not brown. Now push the “sand” to the sides of the bowl and dump the water in the center. Now mix together with a spoon and NOT with a whisk (I accidentally used a whisk in the photo)

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Now let the dough rest for 6 minutes. While you are doing that preheat the stove to medium-low heat.

After 6 minutes have passed, make ½ inch tall galettes using the heel of your hand or a rolling pin. Galettes look like cookies.

Prick with a fork all around your galettes.

Put the galettes on a pan on your preheated stove and cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 minutes,

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And finally take the galettes out and put them in a bowl to serve.

Repeat that with all the galettes

And enjoy!

88/100

On deck is Andorra which I will make a stew!

RECIPE:

Algerian Kesra – North African Bread Recipe

  • 2 cups – 167g fine grained semolina (semolina flour)
  • ¼ cup – 60mL of olive oil or melted butter (I use butter and oil)
  • 1 tsp of salt.
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • almost 1 cup – 230mL of  water

METHOD

MIX the semolina with the salt and baking powder. Rub the olive oil/butter into the semolina with your finger tips until it resembles wet sand. (It’s still yellow)

MAKE a well in the middle of the bowl and add in the  water. Gently mix to form a  homogenous and smooth dough. But be careful not to overwork the dough.

ALLOW the dought to rest for about 5-8 minutes. Explanation for this: although this recipe calls for yeast, the dough still requires a rest. This pause helps the semolina to hydrate. Indeed, semolina with much larger grains than flour, it takes time to absorb the water. Again, as for kneading, some people sometimes let stand 2 hours. Here too, my version is faster, express from the use of baking powder.

PREHEAT your tadjine or pan while the dough is resting. Use a medium fire.

DIVIDE the dough into 2 (for 2 large galettes) or 12 (for 12 smaller galettes) Using the heal of your hand or rolling pin flatten the ball to a thickness of 1 cm – ½ in.

PRICK with a fork all over the galette. This will help the galette not fluff or swell. You can also make designs using a cookie cutter.

ON a medium-low fire cook for about 3 minutes then turn the galette clockwise to obtain even browning. You may want to take a peep at the bottom so it doesn’t burn.

FLIP gently to the other side with the help of a spatula. Or alternatively, flip the galette into a clean plate, then slide back into the tadjine or pan with the cooked side up. Allow to cook for another 3 minutes then rotate. The galettes should be a deep golden brown color, but not burned.

REPEAT the steps until you’ve baked all of the dough. Allow the galette to cool before serving.

TO SERVE

These galettes are traditionally served with hot espresso style coffee or café au lait (coffee with milk) and local orange blossom honey. But are nice with mint tea, cocoa  or also spread with jam or Nutella.

4 thoughts on “ALGERIA: Kesra Bread

  1. Congrats Jack on your new Blog! The Oakley family is planning on following you as you create and taste different cuisines from around the world! Happy cooking! Golda (Jack and Luke’s mom)

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