A recipe for Baghrir (Moroccan Semolina Pancakes) inspired by our visit to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! These thousand hole pancakes come together easily in the blender and are served with sliced almonds and honey butter for dipping.
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Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
We had a couple of tickets to Disney World leftover from our October 2013 trip, so we used them recently for Evan’s birthday! I will be sharing our week in Orlando, Florida in a series of blog posts along with recipes inspired by the food.
Check out the rest of the posts from our week here:
- Caprese Pizza and Disney’s Magic Kingdom
- Pierogi Ruskie (Polish Dumplings with Potatoes and Cheese) and Downtown Disney
- Shrimp Pesto Pizza and POP Century
- Bobotie (South African Spiced Meat Casserole) and Animal Kingdom
- Naan Breakfast Sandwich and Art of Animation
- Fruit Gummy Legos and Legoland Florida
- Cornish Pasties (Cornish Pastry Filled with Beef and Vegetables) and Universal Orlando
- Fettuccine with Mushroom Cream Sauce and Universal Orlando
I’m starting this series with Epcot. Evan needed a break from the parks a few days into our trip, so he and Chad stayed at the hotel while I took a quick tour of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. The entire park was transformed with food booths, beautiful topiaries, and other floral decor.
Fleur de Lys
Since I was by myself, my stomach was only able to handle 3 food booths in such a short time and after recently eating at the Crystal Palace buffet in Magic Kingdom.
I started with Fleur de Lys in France. The menu featured:
- Gnocchis Parisienne à la Provençal (Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables, mushrooms, and goat cheese)
- Confit de Canard, Pommes de Terre Sarladaise (Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes)
- Macaron à la Fleur d’ Oranger (Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache)
- La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush; Kir Imperial; Rosé Pamplemousse Cocktail; and Kronenbourg Blanc 1664
I decided to try the Orange Blossom Macaron. The Macaron was delicious, but quite large (which was good since it was on the expensive side at $5) and extremely sweet. I loved the creamy white chocolate center covered with flecks of vanilla bean. This combined with the orange blossom cookie created a flavor reminiscent of an orange creamsicle.
Taste of Marrakesh
After Fleur de Lys, I stopped by the Moroccan food booth.
Taste of Marrakesh featured:
- Lamb Brewat Roll with Prunes and Sesame
- Harissa Chicken Kebab with Couscous Salad
- Baghrir (Moroccan Pancake with Honey, Almonds, and Argan Oil)
- Desert Rosé, White Sangria, Guerrouane Red, Efes Lager, and Mint Iced Tea
I picked the Baghrir- a Moroccan semolina pancake that is only cooked on one side to create many holes on the surface. These holes do a wonderful job of soaking up the honey and oil. The Baghrir had the perfect touch of sweetness and I loved the contrasting crunch of the almonds to the light pancake.
My last food booth stop was Hanami in Japan. If I had stopped here first, I don’t think I would have had the stomach room for any other booths. I wanted all the food items on the menu.
Hanami offered the following:
- Frushi (Fresh seasonal fruit: pineapple, strawberry, and melon rolled with coconut rice served with raspberry sauce and sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream on the side)
- Temaki Hand Roll (Sliced panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice, and pickled juilienne carrots wrapped in nori)
- Hanami Sushi (A flavorful trio of salmon, scallop, and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce)
- Japanese Popped Rice Cake (Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream, sweet azuki red bean, white chocolate and raspberry sauce)
- Kirin Beer
- Pineapple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie (Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and cream flavored with a hint of yuzu citrus juice)
- Orange Mango Slushie (Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango, and orange juice for a refreshing fruit flavor)
I tried the Frushi, because it sounded the most interesting and I definitely plan on making it someday. It was my favorite of the three items I tried, so light and refreshing. For those interested in a recipe, Disney Food Blog has one available.
For a full list of the food booths featured at Epcot International Flower and Garden festival, visit Disney Food Blog.
Baghrir (Moroccan Semolina Pancakes)
After trying the Baghrir at the Taste of Marrakesh booth, I was excited to make them at home! Baghrir (بغرير, Beghrir) are Moroccan semolina-based pancakes or crepes that are cooked on only one side. The light and spongy texture dotted throughout with little craters makes these pancakes perfect for dipping with honey butter or your favorite accompaniment.
They can be found throughout Northern Africa and are also popular in Algerian cuisine- my kids especially love Chocolate Beghrir (Algerian Chocolate Honeycomb Pancakes) paired with Nutella or jam.
The batter for the Baghrir comes together easily with the help of a blender. It is created using a combination of semolina and all-purpose flour. After activating the yeast, blend the ingredients until smooth, then add baking powder and blend once more. Allow to rest for 30-45 minutes at room temperature to give the yeast and baking powder a chance to work. This is what creates all the tiny holes as they cook.
A Few Tips
I usually pour about 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) into the pan to make medium-sized Baghrir. You can adjust them smaller or a little larger based on personal taste. If the batter is too thick to spread and form the little holes, add a little more water a tablespoon at a time. If too thin to hold any shape, add just a little more flour.
Adjust the heat as needed between low and medium-low. Since the pancakes are only cooked on one side, you want to give the tops a chance to cook through without burning the bottom. Grease the pan with oil only as needed to prevent sticking. I generally use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that doesn’t require any oil at all.
I loved the contrast between the crunchy sliced almonds and airy Baghrir at Epcot, so I also added the almonds to this recipe. If desired, you can toast the almonds first either in a hot pan or on a baking sheet in a 350˚F (180˚C) oven for a few minutes. If using a hot pan, stir often and keep an eye on the color. The almonds will quickly darken.
Leftover Baghrir (that have not been dipped in the honey) will keep for a day or two in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag for up to two months. Be careful not to stack them until completely frozen since they tend to stick together. Reheat in a hot pan.
Semolina (durum wheat flour) is a flour with a high protein content perfect for holding together these pancakes and short pasta shapes without the need for eggs. It can be located in the specialty flour section of many larger grocery stores (I recently picked it up at Eataly here in Los Angeles), especially those featuring North African or Italian ingredients or on Amazon: Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Pasta Flour. For this recipe, you will need fine semolina flour.
Baghrir (Moroccan Semolina Pancakes) Recipe
Adapted from Cooking with Alia
Baghrir (Moroccan Semolina Pancakes)
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) lukewarm water 105-115˚F (40-46˚C)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups (210 grams) fine semolina flour
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
- Vegetable oil for greasing the pan
- Sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup (180 grams) honey
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter
- Pour the warm water into a blender and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let sit for a minute before stirring to dissolve. Allow to rest about 10 minutes, until frothy.
- Add the semolina, flour, sugar, and salt to the blender with the water and yeast. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Add the baking powder and blend again briefly until incorporated. Either leave in the blender or transfer to a large bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow to rest for 30-45 minutes. Bubbles should begin to form on the surface.
- Place a nonstick pan over medium low heat. If needed, grease with a thin layer of vegetable oil.
- Once heated, pour about 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of the puffed batter into the center of the pan in a circle. Cook just until no moisture remains on the top and little holes have developed throughout the pancake. Do not flip the baghrir. Adjust the heat higher or lower as needed to prevent the bottom from burning.
- Remove to a serving plate and repeat with remaining batter.
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey and butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until butter is melted. Keep over low heat until ready to serve.
- Serve the baghrir immediately with sliced almonds and the honey butter for dipping.