Cookbook Msmen


  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 500g (4 cups) flour, and a bit more
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) semolina, and a bit more
  • 7.5ml (1½ tsp) salt
  • 400ml (1¾ cups) water
  • 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) oil
  • 85g (6 tbsp) salted butter, melted


  1. Combine the flour, semolina and salt in a large bowl. Use the dough hook attachment and mix on a low speed, while adding the water, until the dough is well combined, which takes around 2 minutes. Increase the speed and mix until the dough is smooth, which takes about 6 minutes.
  2. Video shows best how to manipulate the dough, you can watch this link. I’ll try my best to explain though.
  3. Melt the butter and stir in the 90ml (3fl oz) of the leftover oil. This mixture will be used to oil surfaces and frying the bread.
  4. Oil a baking sheet. Divide the dough evenly into 12 pieces about 5ml (2 in) in diameter. Roll them into small balls and coat them with oil. Let them rest on the sheet for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Oil a countertop or another baking sheet. Gently stretch each piece the oiled surface until the dough makes a thin, translucent sheet. Brush with the oil micture and sprinkle with semolina.
  6. Fold each side of the square dough a third of the way across the original diameter to make a 7.5cm (3 in) square envelope. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest again for around 15 minutes.
  7. Heat a large frying pan and add a bit of the oil mixture to cover its surface. Stretch the dough on an oiled surface to create a 15cm (7 in) square. Place it in the pan over a medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until brown spots start to form and the bread puffs up. Serve immediately.


  • In this case we used whole-wheat flour because it’s healthier than its all-purpose counterpart. Therefore the bread has a bit of a brown hue.
  • We used olive oil but vegetable and canola oil have a higher smoking point which also works with this recipe.
  • You can save time by using a food mixer but traditionally this was made by hand.
  • The cooked breads can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Alternative, then the dough has finished resting you can clingfilm it and place it in the fridge for later use. It would last up to a day in the fridge.
  • Serve M’smen the traditional Moroccan way – for breakfast, topped with Amlou and served with cheese slices and mint tea.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: Moroccan


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 291
  • Sodium: 333 mg
  • Fat: 13.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 5.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 15 mg