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  Added: Apr 11, 2006  •  Visited (1644)  •  Print version Print this recipe (139)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
Semolina Pastry Rounds
What You Need:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups fine yellow semolina
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups cold water

  • How To Cook:
    "Malsouqua" are round, paper-thin pastries used to make Tunisian "brik" and Moroccan "bastila". Commercial "filo" pastry can be substituted very successfully, but the delicate crispness and flavor of "malsouqua" are preferred. Making them with predictable results can, however, require considerable practice and patience.

    1. Fill a deep pot about 8 to 9 inches in diameter with enough water tocome about ¾ of the way up the sides. Invert a heavy 10-inch skilletwith a clean unscratched bottom (or preferably a copper crepes suzettepan) over the pot, and bring the water to a boil over high heat, thusallowing the surface of the inverted pan to become as hot as possible.

    2. Have a large kettle of water simmering on a nearby burner to replenishthe water in the pot as it boils away, and place the following within easy reach: the olive oil, a pastry brush, a small mixing bowl filled with coldwater, a thin-bladed knife, paper towels, a damp kitchen towel and twospread-out dry kitchen towels.

    Now make the batter and fry the pastry in the following fashion:
    1. Pourthe semolina into a cake pan 10 to 12 inches in diameter (or use a widebaking dish instead). Add the salt and ½ cup of the cold water.

    2. Begin stirring the mixture with your hand and continue to stir for about 5minutes, or until the semolina has absorbed the water. Still stirring, slowly add ¼ cup more of the water; after that has been absorbed, stir in theremaining water in small amounts.

    3. When all the water has been used, the batter will begin to develop small bubbles on its surface as you stir. At this point, change your stirring motion to a clutching and releasing one and manipulate the batter in this manner until it becomes elastic and falls from your fingers in ribbonlike strands. This process should take about 15 minutes from start to finish.

    4. When the batter has reached the desired consistency, dip the pastry brush into the olive oil and very lightly and evenly brush the entire surface of the heated inverted pan. Wipe with a paper towel, leaving only the faintest film of oil on the pan.

    5. First dip your hand into the bowl of cold water, then, palm side down,scoop up a handful of the batter, continuously releasing and clutching the dough.

    6. With the same movements as if you were manipulating a Yo-Yo-first smear2-inch-long streaks around the circumference of the pan. Then continue withsimilar dabbing movements all over the rest of the pan.

    7. As soon as the pan is entirely covered with the lightest, translucent film of batter, quickly wipe your batter-covered hand on the dampened towel and, before the malsouqua becomes the slightest bit dry, with your knife cut around the sides of the pan with small slashing motions until you have loosened the edges of the pastry.

    8. Immediately slide the edge of the knife under the pastry and with both hands carefully and gently peel off the circle. If at any point the pastry sticks to the pan, slide the knife under it to detach it.

    9. If there are any large holes in the pastry, replace the pastry round on the pan and with your index finger, dab some of the batter over the opening to patch it. Use the edge of the knife to lift the malsouqua off the pan again.

    10. Lay the pastry on one of the dry kitchen towels and loosely cover it with the other towel. With a paper towel, clean the surface of the pan, brush it lightly with oil, and wipe as before.

    11. Make similar rounds of pastry with the remaining batter, and make a stack of the finished rounds. If one or more of the malsouqua are torn beyond repair, set them aside. They can be torn up and used to strengthen brik.

    12. You may use the malsouqua at once, or brush their edges lightly with oil, wrap in a towel, and then wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerated, they will keep for 2 or 3 days.
    Serving Size: about 12 rounds
     This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Africa » Tunisia
    Main Ingredient » Grains & Cereals » Flour
    Dish » Bread


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