خبز المْحْراشْ/Moroccan Bread Mahrash / Pain Marocain Mahrach / Pain à la semoule d'orge (Khobz L'mahrach)!

One of my favourite places to visit is the souk (local market), it is always an interesting place to wander. I just like walking through the grand bazaar, the narrow streets and enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread drifts from fran (communal ovens), and all those aromatic, exotic, colourful spices.  The place is filled with vendors, very friendly who bargain with a smile on their faces, and little boys running, with school-bags bouncing on their backs, all grins and full of energy, and women carrying wassla (wood tray) of bread on their heads, and old men selling bundles of fresh mint, absinthe, coriander, parsley and of course Mahrash bread. The souk will not be complete without Mahrash!

Mahrash is a very popular type of bread in Morocco, especially in winter.  It is made from barley grits, other mixture of flour, olive oil and a touch of cumin. The word "Mahrash" means "rough or coarse look" in Moroccan Darija, some call it "Khobz L'harsh", but whatever you decide to call it, it's such a delicious bread and fun to make.

Barley is a prime ingredient in the making of several, popular dishes in Morocco. It is used as a flour or as grains to make Tagolla, which is a porridge served with Oudi and honey in south of Morocco, or to mak couscous, or Askeef  (which is a very light soup, served for breakfast). Mahrash has that tasty, chewy texture and the combination of olive oil and cumin adds such an impressive flavour to it.  The taste of cumin is slightly chili-ish but not spicy at all.  This bread is best served while still warm with Talakhcha, (a popular winter soup in Morocco, also called Bissara) or served simply with olive oil/black olives dip or butter/honey sauce.

Since barley has a low gluten content which results in a low-rise, so that's why higher-gluten flours are combined to make this leavened bread, which needs a few hours to rise. It is important to give the dough enough time to develop and you can give the recipe a little twist, using any combination of the wheat flours you have around the house, or use even some white flour for lighter texture, making sure to adjust water as necessary to achieve a nice consistency to the dough.

I’m submitting this post to Susan's Yeastspotting, a blog devoted to yeast bread food. Please check it out!

Served with pure olive oil, delicious!

This recipe yields 10 small Mahrash / Pour 10 Mahrach, de taille petite
Preparation Time: 0 h 30 minutes / Temps de préparation: 0 h 30 minutes
Time to let the dough rest: 3 h 00 minutes / Repos : 3 h 00 minutes
Cook Time: 0 h 20 minutes / Temps de cuisson: 0 h 20 minutes


-100 gr wheat bran, known as "Nokhal" in Morocco / 100 gr de son de blé, connu au Maroc sous le nom "Nokhala"

  Wheat bran / Son de blé
-100 gr barley grits coarsely ground, known as "Balboula Ghlida" in Morocco / 100 gr de semoule d'orge grosse, connu au Maroc sous le nom "Balboula Ghlida"

Barley grits coarsely ground / Semoule d'orge grosse
 بلبولة الغليظة
-400 gr  hard unbleached flour all puprose or fine semolina / 400 gr de farine de blé dur non blanchi ou semoule très fine

-100 gr plain flour / 100 gr farine tout usage

-60 ml pure olive oil / 60 ml d'huile d'olive de bonne qualité

-Some salt to taste / Un peu de sel selon le goût

-1 tablespoon caster sugar /  1 c à soupe de sucre smoule ou Sanida

-250 gr whole-wheat flour / 250 gr de farine de blé entier

-1 tablespoon ground cumin /  1 c à soupe de cumin en poudre

-5 gr yeast, dried. I used instant yeast, but you might use fresh yeast or other type of yeast as well / 5 gr de levure boulangère sèche.  J'ai mis la levure instantanée mais vous pouvez aussi utiliser la levure fraîche ou autres.

-30 ml Khmira Baldiya, known as Sourdough Starter or Le levain traditionnel / 30 ml de Khmira Baldiya, qui est le Levain traditionnel ou Sourdough Starter.

N.B. It is a white sourdough starter, liquid and 100% hydration / C'est du levain traditionnel à base de farine blanche, liquide et 100% hydratation.

-400 ml warm water / 400 ml d'eau tiède

N.B. To coat and flatten the dough, you will need about 150 gr of fine barley grits / Pour enrober et aplatir les boules de pâte, vous aurez besoin d'environ 150 gr de semoule d'orge fine

Fine barley grits / Semoule d'orge fine
 بلبولة الرّقيقة

Method / Préparation:

1-In a Kassriya or a large bowl, mix wheat bran, barley grits coarsely ground and 200 ml water. Cover and  allow the mixture to soften for about 30 minutes. / Dans une Kassriya ou un grand bol, mélanger le son de blé, semoule de l'orge grosse et 200 ml de l'eau. Couvrir et laisser reposer pendant environ 30 minutes.

2-Add the flours to the softened mixture, salt, yeast, oil, sucre, cumin and starter, then mix well with your hands, adding gradually warm water.   Mix well to a soft dough and knead with hands for about 15 minutes.  The dough should still be rather sticky, but not runny. If it turns out too sticky to work with, just add some flour and keep kneading.  If the dough feels a bit stiff, work in additional water, small quantity at a time and keep kneading.  / Ajouter au mélange ramolli les farines, sel, levure, l'huile, cumin, sucre et levain traditionnel, puis  bien mélanger avec les mains en ajoutant graduellement de l'eau tiède pour former une pâte.  Bien pétrir environ 15 minutes.   La pâte sera un peu collante, mais pas trop liquide. Si elle est trop collante, ajouter un peu de farine et continuer à pétrir mais si elle est dure, ajouter un peu de l'eau et pétrir de nouveau quelques minutes.

3-Oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl  and turn it to coat with oil.  Cover with an oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled.  / Huiler légèrement un grand bol et mettre la pâte dans le bol et la retourner pour bien l'enrober d'huile. Couvrir avec un film alimentaire légèrement huilé et laisser lever jusqu'à ce qu'elle double de volume.

 N.B. Be patient and give the dough enough time to get as big as it can. My dough took a good 2 hours to rise. / La pâte a besoin assez de temps pour fermenter sous l'action de la levure, ainsi, il faut lui donner suffisamment de temps.  J'ai laissé la mienne pendant environ 2 heures pour bien lever.
4-Gently punch the dough down to release any air bubbles. / Dégaser délicatement la pâte.

5-Transfer the dough to a work surface sprinkled generously with fine barley grits, allowing it to take up a generous coating. Divide the dough into about 10 equal portions and shape into small balls, dusting generously with fine barley grits. / Saupoudrer généreusement un plan de travail de semoule d'orge fine et y déposer la pâte; replier la pâte sur elle-même pour former une boule.  Diviser la pâte en environ 10 boules égales, de taille petite, en saupoudrant généreusement de la semoule d'orge fine.
6-Roll out each ball into a circle about 0.5 cm, dusting generously the top of bread with fine barley grits.  / Etaler progressivement les boules en cercles sur une épaisseur de 0.5 cm environ, en saupoudrant généreusement la surface du pain de la de la semoule d'orge fine.

7-Transfer the bread to a slightly greased and floured bread baking sheet.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth and  leave in a warm place for 1 hour or more. / Transférer le pain sur une plaque allant au four légerement huilée et farinée.  Couvrir avec un torchon propre et sec. Laisser reposer dans un endroit chaud pendant 1 heure ou plus si nécessaire.
8 -Preheat oven at 220°C fan  / or 240°C / or 475°F / or gas mark 9 / Préchauffer le four à 220°C, équipé de système de ventilation / ou 240°C / ou 475°F / ou 9 th

9-Make slashes or poke the bread with a fork or knife. / Faire des incisions ou piquer avec une fourchette ou couteau.

10-Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until they're golden brown. / Faire cuire entre 20 à 25 minutes ou jusqu'à qu'ils soient bien dorés.
 11-Transfer to a rack to cool. / Laisser refroidir sur une grille.

12-Store the cooked Mahrash between kitchen towels to keep warm./ Couvrir Mahrach avec un torchon propre pour le garder au chaud.

13-Enjoy! / Bssa7a w ra7a!


Aarthi said…
Totally YUMMY

Rosita Vargas said…
Que pan más rico te ha quedado de lujo,envíame un buen trozo,abrazos hugs,hugs.
Sarah said…
This looks very tasty. I tried your fennel flavoured bread and it was fantastic. Everyone loved it.
Miam! Du beau pain. J'adorerais le tremper dans de l'huile d'olive...


MC said…
This looks so delicious. I love it that it includes levain and different kinds of whole grains. The mahrash is now officially on my list of breads to try. I have a feeling it will become a favorite at our house too...
aziza said…
kanmout 3la lmahrach o lbissara, tbark allah 3lik zin
Soumiya22 said…
Bon matin mamatkamal
Y a pas mieux que tamahracht avec huile d'olive, j'adore ce pain, et c'est vrai que c'est très populaire au Maroc.
Prends soins de toi, boussa
kbira said…
Quel beau pain! Merci madame.
Soumiya22 said…
Jettes un coup d'oeil sur ce blog nul de cette dame qui se prend je ne sais pas pour qui et qui vole les recettes, le contenu, les articles et les photos de laliyatha, des bloggeuse et elle les poste dans son "splog" (je l'appelle ainsi puisqu'il ne mérite pas le nom blog!. voici le lien de ton Rziza dans son truc!
Anonymous said…
Thanks SO much Mamatkamal. I myself was born and raised in the Souss region (Agadir) and L'ma7rash was a staple @ home (with l'bissara!). I made it yesterday and it was a success! It keeps hunger at bay really well during the fasting month.

I am checking your other recipes as well.

Shukran bezzaf ou t'barkellah 3la tyab dyalek!