Beghrir, aka The Pancake with a Thousand Holes

25th October 2015

BeghrirI was in the Netherlands in May – in Rotterdam to be exact – and I tried beghrir for the first time at a North African restaurant. On the menu beghrir was listed as a “thousand holes pancake” served with honey and butter. My interest was peaked and in the end I order a big breakfast with a little of everything. The Moroccan beghrir was my favorite part!

So now back in Belgium I wanted to try and make them. The pancakes are very easy to make, although I did make a mistake when making my first beghrir. Normally to help cook my pancakes thoroughly, I cover my pan. But if you cover the pan when making the beghrir, you’ll have no bubbles!

Holes form from adding yeast to the batter. The yeast causes the batter to bubble, and once the pancakes are on the stove, the heat causes the bubbles to burst. Beghrir is cooked only on one side, making a very beautiful breakfast!

Rather than topping the beghrir with syrup, on the stove you melt roughly 1 part honey with 1 part butter to pour over the pancakes right before serving. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and added a little bit of powdered sugar on top!

BeghrirMoroccan Beghrir, makes 16 pancakes

  1. Mix the flour, semolina, salt, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In a blender, measure lukewarm water to just over the 3-cup line. Add the yeast and process on low speed to blend. Gradually add the dry ingredients.
  2. Increase the processing speed and blend for a full minute, or until very smooth and creamy. The batter should be rather thin, about the same consistency as crepe batter or cooking cream.
  3. Pour the batter into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 10 minutes or a bit longer, until the top of the batter is light and a bit foamy.
  4. Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir the batter, and use a ladle to pour batter into the hot skillet. Pour carefully and slowly into the center and the batter will spread evenly into a circle. (Do not swirl the pan; the batter should spread itself.) Make the beghrir as large as you like.
  5. Bubbles should appear on the surface of the beghrir as it cooks. Don’t flip the beghrir. It only gets cooked on one side.
  6. Cook for about two minutes, or until the beghrir doesn’t appear wet anywhere on the surface. It should feel spongy, but not sticky or gummy, when you touch it lightly with your finger.
  7. Transfer the beghrir to cool in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Once they are cool, they can be stacked without sticking.

Honey Butter Sauce

  1. In a small sauce pan heat the butter and honey together until mixed.
  2. Pour on top the beghrir and enjoy!

Peking Duck Inspired Pancakes with Scallions

9th October 2015

Peking Duck Inspired Pancakes with ScallionsOn Sundays I tend to make Asian dishes because the supermarket in Chinatown is the only one open. My husband and I are fond of duck and really enjoy Peking duck pancakes with scallions dipped in hoisin sauce. This recipe comes from the Smoky Wok. The duck is prepared in much easier fashion, because as the website says, “recreating an authentic Peking Duck at home is almost impossible – the ducks are not roasted in regular ovens, they are supposed to be roasted over open flame lit with a special kind of wood that is also infused with fruits and some dates.  For the duck to get that gorgeous crispy skin characteristic of a true Peking Duck, the ducks also have to be rotated and turned at precise times.” This recipe uses only the duck breast which is marinated in hoisin sauce and other spices. Mmm!

And if you want to serve this with guests, you can let everyone make their own pancakes and just create a spread with the pancakes, sliced duck, and scallions. Everyones loves a little DIY!

Peking Duck Inspired Pancakes with Scallions

Peking Duck Inspired Pancakes with ScallionsPeking Duck Inspired Pancakes with Scallions, serves 4 (makes about 20 pancakes)

The Pancakes

  1. Sift flour and cornstarch into a large bowl.  Whisk together eggs, milk, water and sugar together in a separate bowl.  Make a well in center of flour mixture earlier and add in egg mixture gradually and beat well until mixed.
  2. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, add about 2 tablespoons of the batter to form pancake.  Cook for about 1 minute on each side or until golden.  Remove from pan and place on serving dish.  Continue until all the batter is used up.

Pancake Filling

The Marinade

  1. Marinade the duck breast in the marinade above for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours or more (covered in fridge).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Roast duck breast after oven is pre-heated for at least 15 minutes for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked.  Allow to rest for about 15 minutes, slice thinly and place on serving platter.
  3. You can create the pancakes yourself by adding a slice of duck and a scallion, then tying it together with the stalk of another scallion. If having guests, let them serve themselves by making the little pancake rolls at the table. Make sure to have enough extra hoisin sauce for dipping!