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Author Notes: Affectionately called "thousand-hole crêpe," these are really named "baghrir." While I went ahead and prepared the batter the night before and allowed it to rise overnight, I imagine that you would be equally successful doing it the day of—just make sure to activate your yeast first (if necessary) and allow the batter to rest for at least 45 minutes. Cooking the baghrir will likely take a few tries to get the hang of it; treat it like a crêpe, making sure the batter is thin enough and the pan hot enough so you can swirl it around a bit when you pour it.
As for the compote: It's sweet, and makes a lot. I was able to fill an entire mason jar. Feel free to scale that recipe back, or do as I did, and use it in oatmeal, muesli, sandwiches, on tartines, etc. If you don't like orange, definitely don't use that; the flavor comes through strongly. I love orange, but maybe you'd prefer more vanilla, using almond extract, rose water... Whatever you're feeling in the moment. —Rachel
Makes about 10 baghrir
For the baghrir:
- 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (I used turbinado, but any sugar is fine)
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4-1/2 cups water
- Unsalted butter, for cooking
- Yogurt, for serving
- Toasted chopped walnuts, for serving
- Honey, for serving
For the compote:
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, optional
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, optional
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts because that's what I had, but I imagine whole pine nuts would be incredible. Chopped almonds or pistachios would also be delicious!)
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together semolina, flour, yeast, baking powder, salt, sugar, and milk for the baghrir. Transfer to a blender, and blend for around three minutes; it should be a smooth and relatively thin batter, like that of a French crêpe. Cover and move to the fridge for an overnight rise.
- The next day: pull your batter out of the fridge and make sure it's the desired consistency. It likely will have thickened a bit during fermentation; simply add a tablespoon of water at a time and whisk or blend until it's easily pourable. I ended up adding 5 tablespoons. Allow the batter to rest as you work on the compote.
- In a sauce pan, pour boiling water over the chopped dates and apricots. Cover with a lid, and let soak for 20 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the compote to the pot and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until liquid has mostly evaporated and it has become viscous and syrup-y. Remove from heat.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and melt a dab of butter. Once hot, pour in batter about 1/3 cup at a time, and swirl the pan around to get a thinner coating of batter; these are crêpes, not pancakes! You want a very pale bottom and a just-cooked, sponge-y top. Once the surface is dry, transfer to a plate and cook off the rest.
- Spread a layer of yogurt on top of the crêpe and spoon compote on top. Drizzle with honey or add crushed walnuts if you desire, and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dates