Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Ksra
There is really no single Moroccan bread, but there are countless variations on a theme – Naomi Duguid, Flatbreads & Flavors
I was thrilled when Kelly announced that this month’s BBBabe bread is Ksra or Kesra – to go with Moroccan tagine. How perfectly timed this is for us! It would give us a chance to use our tagine (as if we need an excuse).
When I was wandering around the internet looking at other peoples’ Ksra adventures, I was reminded that there is a recipe for Ksra in Flatbreads and Flavours. Hey, we have that book….
I raced to the kitchen to look. As I took Flatbreads and Flavors from our cookbook shelf, I remembered that we also have Anissa Helou’s book, Mediterranean Street Food. There was bound to be a recipe for Ksra there! Of course there is.
Most [Moroccan] households prepare their own dough and […] in the mid- and late morning, women or preschool children walk down the lane with the shaped loaves on a board, covered with a cloth. They carry the board balanced on their heads or slung on one hip. When you see the array of breads lined up for baking at a local bakery, […] you realize that there are nearly as many different kinds of bread as there are households.
Household bread in Morocco was traditionally made with a sourdough starter […] but that is now changing as commercial dry yeast becomes more widely available.
– Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, Moroccan Anise Bread Ksra, Flatbreads and Flavors, p.242
There is nothing I like better than to buy bread from one of the Berber women who set up stalls in the medina. […] Morocco is an extraordinary country, only a few hours’ flight from sophisticated London or Paris, yet completely unspoiled by modern life. Going there is like going back in time to the Middle Ages. Last time I was there, I was taken to a farm a few kilometers away from Marrakesh, […] [O]ne of the young girls set about making the bread. She kneaded the dough in a large earthenware dish, shaped it, wrapped it in acloth, and left it to rest. When it was time to bake it, her mother set another flat earthenward dish over a raging fire built with olvie branches, and when the dish became really hot, she started baking the bread for our lunch. It was as much a delight to watch as it was to eat. Tunisian bread is similar to Moroccan but without sesame seeds and with ground fennel sees in place of the anise seeds.
– Anissa Helou, Moroccan Bread K’sra, Mediterranean Street Food, p.81
(continue reading )