The "1001 nights" breakfasts of my childhood

November 6th, 2007 § 3 comments

Moroccan pancakes have the taste of my childhood. It tastes of my summer holidays in moroccan paradise, at my lovely aunt Mina, my mum’s little sister. The whole summer, she would spoil us like kings…  Her modest house was our palace.

That’s me, a long time ago: a little gourmande in moroccan paradise…

Among all, the gourmande that I have always been can’t help but remember the breakfasts and tea-time, back then…  True feasts of the 1001 nights. There were fountains of mint tea, fresh orange juice and milk, croissants, fresh bread, almond cookies, homemade jams, and so many more treats.  I had only eyes for the pancakes! The flaky Msemen* and the airy Baghrir** were my favourites.  My grandma or my aunt would wake up before sunrise to prepare them so that they would be just ready and warm, bathed in honey and butter sauce, when the little princess girl that I was would dare to get up for breakfast. Burning the tips of my fingers in the warm honey when reaching for my favourite treats was my only worry…


When nostalgy catch me off guards, I search my all house for the little piece of paper torn out from an old agenda where my mum lovingly wrote the family baghrir recipe when I left home to live my grown-up life. Yet, it is always a disappointment. After all these years of trying, I never managed to reach the perfectness of my grandma’s, aunt’s and mum’s heavenly pancakes. Mine are always desperately compact.

Lately, after yet another heartbreaking and disappointing attempt, I sinned (please don’t ever tell my mum about it): I drooled in front of the photo of Requia’s baghrir. Shameless, I put aside the precious piece of paper and adapted the sacred recipe inspiring myself from Requia’s delicious french blog. It was like my childhood’s breakfasts all over again… Everything had just became clear: in her emotion, my mum had forgotten one of the ingredients when writing down the recipe… the flour!

Thank you so much, Requia, for bringing back the taste of my childhood on my breakfast table!

Raising dough,  and bubbling pancake

Crêpes milles trous**

~18 pancakes
prep: 10 min + 1 hour raising. cook: 30 min

1.5 package active dry yeast (or 5g fresh yeast if you have more luck than me in finding some),
500 ml lukewarm water,
250 ml lukewarm milk,
1 egg, beaten,

300 ml all-purpose flour, sieved,
300 ml thin semolina,
1/2 tsp salt
To serve:
50g butter,
15 cl honey,
2 Tsp water

Read the instructions on the yeast package: if it needs to be delayed, delay it with a little bit of the lukewarm milk (do so if you use fresh yeast).
In a large bowl, pour the lukewarm milk, water and the salt. Then pour the beaten egg, add the yeast, the flour and semolina. Mix until smooth (as a lazy gourmande I use an electric blender or mixer).
Cover with a clean cloth and leave to raise at room temperature for about 1 hour. The dough should almost double volume and start bubbling.Cook the pancakes a couple of minutes on one side only, on low heat in a warm pancake pan. Holes will form at the top. They shouldn’t colour. Leave the pancakes to cool on a dry cloth, smooth part under (and not on top of each other if you don’t want them to stick together). To serve, warm up in a frying pan with a mix of butter and honey.

Eat them right away, with your fingers…

Bon appétit!

* Msemen are actually my true favourites. They are a work of art and patience… I’ll tell you more about them soon. If you can’t wait and want to practise your french have a look in Requia‘s kitchen, you’ll fall for them too!
** As you can see from the pictures and recipe, the yeast give Baghrir it’s airy texture: thousands of bubbles form during baking, hence their french name: the thousand holes pancakes or “crêpes milles trous”   

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§ 3 Responses to The "1001 nights" breakfasts of my childhood"

  • simon.. says:

    je suis bien sur le site de myriam ? la grande soeur de mehdi?
    jai pas trop le temps au jourdui de regardé ton site mais si c bien le tien .. je v venir fait un saut bientot sur tes pages…
    bisou du sud 😉
    ciao ciao

  • mykitchendiaries says:


    Merci beaucoup. Je suis ravie que mon blog te plaise. Je suis de ceux qui croient que l’on peut faire traverser beaucoup de frontières par quelques bouchées cuisinées avec amour.
    Un petit accent mexicain dans les traditions culinaires francaises et marocaines… ca me donne envie.

    A bientot,


  • Genevieve Djemila says:

    Bonjour de l’Arizona!

    Je suis tombee par le plus grand hasard sur ton website. Je cherchais le nom de sauges commestibles et voila.
    Tres impressionnee par ton blog. Bravo.
    Je suis egalement de mere marocaine et de pere francais, ce qui a seme la franche zizanie identitaire pendant des annees! Le sentiment d’exil est pareillement partage et il est indeniable que ma passion pour mon heritage duo-culinaire me garde liee a mon passe. Je nourris ainsi ma petite famille presque uniquement de recettes franco-marocaines et apprecie enormement les recettes mexicaines, vivant a la frontiere.

    A bientot

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