Baghrir or Beghrir (بغرير) are semolina pancakes eaten in the Maghreb region of North Africa. They are thin and soft with a honeycomb–like structure, making them ideal for soaking up the delicious honey-butter ‘sauce’.
Baghrir, Beghrir, البغرير
Baghrir is a Tamazight (Berber language) word meaning “too soft”.
The thousand-holes pancakes are known by different names (edarnan, tibouajajin, tiγrifin), depending on which area and country you are in.
Normally when you think of pancakes ingredients you think: flour, butter, eggs milk. How many would think: semolina, yeast, water? Yet, Baghrir are the softest and lightest of pancakes with an irresistible spongy texture.
Originally, Beghrir batter would take a long time to prepare; first making and kneading a dough, before loosening it with more liquid then allowing the batter to rest/rise. These days, electrical mixers and baking powder makes this process alot easier and faster.
In this express recipe, you make the batter with the aid of a blender in well under 10 minutes. The high amount of yeast and extra baking powder means you can cook the Baghrir instantly, without resting the batter beforehand.
The Maghrebi equivalent to British Crumpets
The hole riddled appearance of Beghrir remind me of Crumpets from back home in the UK. I love the thick, soft but chewy and spongy texture of a toasted and buttered crumpet. As much as I love the thin, light and tender spongy texture of a warm, freshly cooked Baghrir drenched in honey-butter-orange blossom water mixture.
Here in Algeria we cook Baghrir on a metal tajine but you can also use a flat griddle pan or crêpe pan / maker. I have tried cooking in a regular frying pan without success. As the pancakes are very light and soft, it’s awkward releasing them from the pan as they tear and crease easily.
What’s unusual when cooking Baghrir compared to regular pancakes is, cooking them on one side only. Yes, NO FLIPPING ALLOWED. They are fully cooked once the holey surface has completely dried.
You want to pour the batter onto your chosen flat cooking surface and quickly but gently, smooth it out with the back of the ladle into a thin even circle. Don’t expect to become an instant expert in this technique. I’ve made Baghrir a handful of times over the last month and as you can see, I still need to work on getting evenly circular Baghrir.
Full credit goes to Oum Walid for the recipe. I’ve simply translated her batter recipe and added specific quantities for the honey-butter sauce. Do check out Oum Walid’s Baghrir recipe video, specifically watch her technique on how to cook the semolina pancakes.
Recipe makes roughly 16, depending on the size of your ladle. We usually eat them for brunch or with afternoon coffee and skip lunch or dinner. If 16 pancakes is too many for your small family or maybe you are trying Baghrir for the first time? It’s ok to half the recipe.
Don’t like the idea of dipping Beghrir in orange blossom honey-butter mixture? Use any of your regular pancake toppings such as: maple syrup, nutella, confiture (jelly / jam). Maybe even try lightly drizzling with extra virgin olive oil sweetening with date syrup. Moroccans love serving these with Amlou – an argan oil, almond and honey dip.
So, do you want a change to your regular stack of pancakes? Try these Maghrebi semolina pancakes asap.