Mkhamer-Skillet Bread

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Buttery was the first word that came to mind when I bit into this bread. It's a little dense which makes it perfect for sopping, so it probably wouldn't hurt if you made some soup or stew on the day you make this bread. 


The dough uses both all-purpose flour and semolina flour and of course the standard yeast, salt, sugar, oil, and water. 
The last few minutes of kneading I do on the counter, I just love playing with dough. 

After the required resting and shaping, they are cooked in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Fortunately, I have a few cast-iron pans that are great for this. 
Cooked over medium-high heat, I flipped the bread frequently to ensure thorough and even cooking. 

Today I'm making this bread again, but this time I'm making smaller disks, I am going to divide the dough into 4 pieces, then after cooking and cooling they'll be individually wrapped and tucked into the freezer for easy peasy bread anytime. 


Mkhamer-Skillet Bread


  • Makes 2 loaves

    1 teaspoon dried active yeast
    1¼ teaspoons caster sugar
    100g plain flour, plus extra if needed
    100g semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for oiling
    110–150ml warm water    

    In a small bowl, mix the dried yeast and ¼ teaspoon of the sugar with 1 tablespoon warm water using a fork. Leave the yeast to activate for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is foamy.    

    Mix the flours, remaining sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil, yeast mixture and 110ml warm water, then use your hands to mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough. The dough should feel slightly sticky. If your dough is too dry, gradually add a little extra warm water, a tablespoon at a time, until you obtain the right consistency. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more plain flour.    

    Lightly dust a work surface with semolina flour and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic – to check that it has been kneaded enough, press it with your finger and it should bounce back. Divide the dough in half and shape each into a round loaf. Cover each loaf with clingfilm and leave to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
    Using your hands, flatten each loaf into a disc 7mm thick and dust both sides with semolina flour. Place the discs on a tray or work surface in a warm place, leaving at least 5cm between each loaf to allow enough room for rising. Cover the discs with clingfilm and leave to rise for about 1 hour until they double in size – they may need longer if they are left in a cold room.    
    Lightly oil a frying pan, ideally heavy based, and preheat over a medium heat. Gently place a loaf in the pan and cook, turning several times, for about 6 minutes on each side until golden. Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack while you cook the other loaf in the same way. Leave the bread to cool for a few minutes before serving.

    Benkabbou, Nargisse. Casablanca .


And that's that!

Harissa & Lemon Chicken Tray Bake

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Add some sweet potatoes and cauliflower and you have a "winner..." well, you know the rest. 

This was voted one of the favorite meals I've made since I've moved here to Lake Havasu City. This got a resounding all thumbs up from my family. It's one of my favorites also. 
I'm still in transition, living half in and out of boxes. I know I packed my jars of Harissa but couldn't find either one of them so I made my own. 
It turned out to be a good thing because I learned how really easy it is to make. 

I know you won't over-roast your peppers as I did. I tasted the little charred bits and they were tasty, a little bit sweet so I added the whole lot to the food processor and pulsed away. I didn't peel the peppers either. Hummm no wonder I think harissa is so easy to make. 

One variation of the basic harissa recipe (included) is fragrant harissa. While the peppers are roasting toast 1 tablespoon each of fennel, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant. Roughly grind the toasted spices, set aside. 


In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and add the roasted pepper mixture. Here is where you are going to add the ground spices. 


After simmering the pepper mixture for about 45 minutes, add fresh lemon juice to taste, and you're done.

See how much darker and richer the peppers are after simmering for a while. 

The recipe calls for red chilis also. Add as many as you like depending on how spicy you want your harissa. Once again, I have a family member that doesn't care for spicy food so I left them out. 

Now that we have the harissa made, on to the marinade for the chicken and veggies. 


You'll need, vegetable broth, olive oil, the zest and juice of lemons, coriander/cilantro, garlic, harissa, and salt. Whisk it all together in a bowl. I used the measuring cup the broth was in. 


The vegetables you need for the chicken are sweet potatoes, onions, lemons, garlic, and cauliflower. 

After getting the chicken seriously coated with the marinade,  it was placed in the roasting pan on a bed of sliced onion, then the potatoes and cauliflower were added and it was all topped with the sliced lemons, popped into a 375*F oven for about an hour. 

A seriously delicious meal. I hope you try it


Harissa & Lemon Chicken Tray Bake

Serves 4 

2 onions (400g), sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
4 large chicken legs
1 large sweet potato (250g), cut into large chunks
300g cauliflower florets
2 lemons, sliced


200ml vegetable stock
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons Harissa plus extra to serve
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste    

koko's note:
I roasted the chicken at 375*F

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6.   

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.    Spread the onions out in a deep roasting tin and scatter the garlic cloves all over. Place the chicken legs, skin-side up, on top with the sweet potato chunks and cauliflower florets. Pour over the marinade and turn the chicken legs several times to ensure that they are fully coated with the marinade. Top the whole dish with the lemon slices.    Bake for about 1 hour or until the chicken is golden and cooked through. Serve the chicken and vegetables immediately with extra harissa.

Harissa Basic Recipe

1kg red peppers (about 8)
1–4 red chillies (any type), depending on how spicy you want your harissa
7 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
olive oil    

koko's note:
I roasted the peppers at 350*F

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan), Gas Mark 3½.

Line a roasting tray with foil. Cut the red peppers and the chillies into quarters lengthways, then remove and discard the cores, veins and seeds. Place them, skin-side up, in the lined roasting tray. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the skins of the peppers start to look wrinkly.    Remove from the oven and leave the peppers and chillies until cool enough to handle, then remove the skins from the peppers and chop everything finely with a knife or use a food processor to pulse to a coarse purée.    

Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the roasted pepper mixture and the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low and leave to simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 35–45 minutes until the mixture looks darker, all the liquid from the peppers and chillies has evaporated and the mixture has dried out (the only liquid you should see is oil). Taste and season with salt as necessary.    When your harissa is ready, transfer it to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid that has some room to spare at the top. Pour in enough olive oil to completely cover the harissa – this acts as  natural preservative and allows you to store the harissa for longer – then seal the jar. Store the harissa in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 1 month. Enjoy with everything!

Casablanca: My Moroccan Food Cookbook


And that's that!