Stretch your mind – Rgaïf

Rgaïf

   If you only knew how close I was to not baking these, if you only knew… but somehow a baking ninja  popped up its head when I was on our BBB blog, writing an apologetic post about not baking this month about one hour and a half ago and I suddenly found myself making the dough to this month’s  bread challenge, Rgaïf, chosen by Lien of Notitie van Lien. I had dreaded this one, it looked so complicated with all the stretching but do you know what? After the first two, three breads, I actually got the grip of it and managed to stretch out huge sheets of dough! And I had fun! This just proves my adage “Never resist a challenge” unless it is a totally weird one. I used 2/5 of wholewheat flour and 3/5 of Manitoba flour because one of our new Babes, Aparna (YES, we have two new Babes this month, Aparna who is an old but dear acquaintance of mine and Cathy who has been a busy Buddie for quite some time – I’m very happy to have both with us) mentioned that these reminded her of Indian Paratha bread and that she preferred the wholewheat version so I decided on a mixed version, mainly because of the stretching, I had my doubts that I would be able to stretch a wholewheat dough like I had seen in photos. Some of the Babes found that it was easier to stretch if you used more oil on the dough but I didn’t have any problems, I suggest that you do them on a surface where the dough can attach itself a little and once you have flattened it out, you carefully lift it and stretch it gently. It worked for me but you need to try and find what works for you because you are going to be a Bread Baking Buddy, aren’t you? If so, please head over to Lien’s blog and find out what to do and when. And please visit my fellow Babes and see what they did, I’m sure that some of them have filled their Rgaïfs with interesting fillings!

Bake My Day – Karen
Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Elle
girlichef – Heather
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
My Diverse Kitchen – Aparna
Bread Experience – Cathy

Rgaïf-2

Rgaïf
about 10, adapted from Vrijdag couscousdag by R. Ahali

500 g flour
5,5 g dry yeast
½ tsp salt
± 250 ml water
50 ml olive oil

Mix flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.

Kneading by machine: Add water and start kneading with the dough hook, adding more water as necessary. Knead until the dough is very elastic and doesn’t stick to the sides anymore.

Kneading by hand:Make a well in the centre and add some water, start mixing in the flour where it touches the water. Little by little add more water and keep mixing in the flour. Start kneading, grease your hands with a little oil to prevent sticking. Knead about 20 minutes. Add water if it feels too dry. The dough needs to be very elastic and no dough should stick to your hands.

Shape: Make 10 dough balls. Coat every ball with a little olive oil. Let them rest for about 5 minutes. Flatten the ball with your hand as much as you can. Stretch the dough. Take care to get no (or a little as possible) holes in the dough. You need to stretch the dough until it gets as thin as you can, thinner than paper if possible. It’s best done on a counter top, stretching the dough and sticking it to the surface, so it doesn’t spring back. This is not easy. Now fold the dough in squares by folding the round sides inwards.

Bake the squares in a hot large pan on both sides. Only use more oil if the Rgaïf stick to the pan.
You can also deep fry them (as the do in southern Morocco)

Serve: You can serve them with syrup, (strawberry) jam, chocolate sauce. But also you can use savory things, like thinly slices meat, cheese ecc.
You can also spread some filling in them, before folding and baking them. just keep in mind to make it thin.

L

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