Make Ahead

Crispy Moroccan Pancakes (M'smmen)

March  5, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 8 pancakes
Author Notes

Crispy, flaky, and fluffy all at the same time, m'smmen is Morocco's favorite pastry. Traditionally a breakfast staple, you can also enjoy this as an afternoon snack. Serve warm with a side of argan oil and honey paired with hot Moroccan mint tea. Such a delectable and worldly treat! —Dip&Scoop

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Dip&Scoop lives in New York City where he is a purveyor of argan oil.
WHAT: A flaky, addictive Moroccan pancake that's perfect for dipping into honey.
HOW: Make a dough out of semolina flour, plain flour, and salt. Divide and flatten the dough into pancakes then cook each one on a griddle. Once golden brown, remove them from the heat and dip them to your heart's content.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These Moroccan pancakes were consumed by the Food52 staff as soon as they left the test kitchen. It's too bad they disappeared so quickly -- they make great leftovers when reheated in a toaster. If you don't have argan oil on hand, these are just as irresistible paired with butter and honey. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/3 cups semolina flour, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons argan oil, for dipping
  • 3 tablespoons honey, for dipping
  1. In a large bowl, mix together 2/3 cup semolina, all-purpose flour, and salt. Stir in the warm water, then knead the mixture to obtain a smooth dough. Roll it into a ball and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and coat each ball with vegetable oil. Let the dough rest for another 15 minutes.
  3. On an oiled surface, use your hands to flatten out each ball of dough in a thin layer. Brush with melted butter and vegetable oil and sprinkle with the remaining semolina.
  4. Take one of the balls of dough, and fold one side of the dough 2/3 in across the dough. Then, fold the other side over the overlapping dough. This should make a long strip of 3 layers of thin dough. Fold the two ends of the dough 1/3 of the way in so that they meet in the middle. You should now have a rectangle of dough. Fold it one last time across the middle to make a perfect square approximately 4 inches wide. Repeat with each ball of dough.
  5. Place a griddle over medium heat, and while it warms up, use your hand to gently flatten the squares into larger, thinner squares, about 6 inches wide.
  6. Immediately place the flattened dough onto the pan or griddle and cook on each side until golden brown.
  7. Serve hot off the griddle. Roll the m'smmen, dip it into argan oil, then dip it into honey and enjoy!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • Dip&Scoop
  • Yael Elmatad
    Yael Elmatad
  • NazNyc
  • Petite fee
    Petite fee

16 Reviews

Taylor S. December 11, 2017
Look like Paratha Roti.
( )
Joycelyn May 11, 2017
M'smen are not really pancakes per se, they're more of a flat bread and of which is more often than not served with Amlou or Amalou, a mixture of ground unpeeled toasted almonds, argan oil and honey.

Not sure where the above recipe originated but the semolina quantity seems a tad high. That is if you're hoping for a pleasant feel and taste to the mouth.

Chef D. November 14, 2015
moroccan dessers always have honey in them :)
Dip&Scoop August 11, 2015
You are right Jas! While too much semolina will make the M'smmen tougher, it is what makes it flakey. So experiment with the quantity you like. We like to kneed some into the dough in addition to sprinkling it on step 3. In the mean time, we are revising our recipe. Thanks!
jas August 10, 2015
•3 1/2 cups flour (440 g)
•1/2 cup fine semolina (90g)
•2 teaspoons sugar
•2 teaspoons salt
•1/4 teaspoon yeast
•1 1/2 cups warm water (approx. 1/3 liter)
jas August 10, 2015
Also you have the recipe all wrong compared to Msemen Dough. I just found another recipe and it calls for 31/2 cups of flour and only 1/2 cup semolina. No wonder mine didn't work.
jas August 10, 2015
I tried to make these and they turned out tough as a boot! What is the secret? They didn't puff up like the picture shows?
Chef D. November 14, 2015
they don't look that puffy in the pic, they seem rather flat...
Yael E. June 26, 2015
This is similar to something my Moroccan (sepharic) family makes called Mufleta which we eat to break the Passover "fast". Except there is no folding or semolina. Just water + flour + salt (some people will add yeast or margarine, but i'm a purest). Then roll dough balls left to sit and covered (REALLY COVERED) with oil. Then we "open" the ball (spread it into a flat circular sheet) and we cook in a wide pan and flip, then layer another flatten ball on top and flip until you get a huge stack. Here's what i'm talking about: (Skip to 2:50ish to see the spreading technique and cooking/flipping techniques). We serve ours with butter and honey but I've been known to sneak some nutella into the party.
NazNyc May 8, 2015
Looks like roti. Paratha roti.
Petite F. April 2, 2015
I was lucky enough to have a two vacation in Maroc (amazing!!) and we had this every morning for breakfast. Memories...
Dip&Scoop March 6, 2015
Hi Le Bec Fin. Thanks for the complements chef! Argan oil is one of the rarest oils in the world and is extremely labor intensive. We work really hard to bring you an authentic and traditional Argan oil immediately recognizable from it's pleasant smell and taste. When your D&D bottle runs out, you can always find us right here on the F52 shop. We will send it to you straight to your doorsteps :)
Dip&Scoop March 6, 2015
Thanks for pointing this out Regine. I just updated the recipe for you, this should be much clearer now. Happy cooking!
Regine March 6, 2015
I found this link which gives me a better idea of how to do the folding.
Regine March 6, 2015
Can u explain step 3 please. I don't understand the folding too well.
LeBec F. March 5, 2015
dip&scoop, I am just delighted by this recipe, for 2 reasons:
1) yesterday i watched a video of a Thai street vendor making Roti, a very similar bread (slightly diff technique which involves pulling and slapping the bread down to thin it)! and
2) I have yet to meet a chef that stocks argan oil! It is ~$50 for 8 ou. at Dean and DeLuca in CA.!! (Ah, to shop where YOU live!)
At any rate, the skill involved is considerable, and, from your photo, you are quite the pro! Th you for the inspiration.