If you haven't made meloui before, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the shaping process before you begin. The khlii will be distributed across the dough (step 2 of the Modern Meloui Method or step 4 of the Traditional Meloui Method) before the dough is folded and rolled into a coil.
I like to make meloui on the small side, but they may be shaped much larger and cut into wedges for serving.
Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Yield: Approx. 20 meloui (4" diameter)
- --- For the Dough ---
- 2 cups flour (250 g)
- 2 cups fine semolina (360g)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (approx. 1/3 liter)
- --- For folding and cooking the msemen ---
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup very soft butter
- 1/2 cup semolina
- 4 oz. (125 g) khlii, finely chopped
Make the Dough: Mix the flour, semolina, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm water and yeast, and mix to form a dough. Add more water if necessary to make a dough that is soft and easy to knead, but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add a little flour one tablespoon at a time.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes (or knead the dough in a stand mixer with dough hook for 5 minutes), until the dough is very smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into balls about the size of small plums. (These will yield 4" pancakes; shape larger balls if you prefer to make larger meloui.) Place the balls on an oiled surface or tray, spread some oil on the top of the dough, and cover with piece of plastic or a towel. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Shape the Stuffed Meloui: Oil your work surface and your hands. Take a ball of dough, dip it in oil, and flatten and stretch the dough into a narrow, elongated strip. Make the strip of dough as thin as you can without breaking it.
Dot the strip of dough with butter, sprinkle it with a little semolina, and then distribute some minced khlii along the length of dough. Fold the long sides of the dough inward to conceal the filling, creating an even more narrow strip of dough.
Flatten the dough to remove any air bubbles. Dot the dough with a little more butter and sprinkle it with more semolina. Starting at one end, snugly roll up the dough like a rug into a coil. Pinch the loose end of the dough into the center of the coil onto the coil to seal it, and stand the roll upright on an oiled try. Coat the folded dough with more oil, cover loosely with plastic, and repeat the folding process with the remaining balls of dough.
Cook the meloui: Preheat a pan or griddle over medium heat. In the order in which you folded them, take a coil of of dough and flatten it into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Try to flatten it evenly from the center outward so you can see the coiled effect.
Transfer the flattened dough to the pan, and cook for several minutes, turning several times, until the meloui is golden brown and the dough is cooked thoroughly. Transfer to a rack or paper-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining coils of dough. Serve warm.
Cooled, leftover meloui can be frozen. Reheat frozen meloui in a frying pan or in a 350° F (180° C) degree oven for a few minutes, just until hot. Don't leave them in the oven longer than necessary or they'll dry out.