Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu
Kesra is an unleavened Algerian bread made with semolina flour and olive oil. It is a dense, crumbly, hearty bread baked on top of the stove in a pan. Kesra is usually eaten with some buttermilk or extra virgin olive oil.
2 cups Semolina Flour
1 tablespoon Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Water
1. Combine semonlina flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Mix the olive oil into the dry ingredients until the olive oil is throughly mixed into the flour. Rubbing the flour and oil through your hands works well.
3. Slowly add water until you have a nice soft dough.
4. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes or until you feel the dough can't be kneaded anymore. If you poke the dough, it should spring back.
5. Cover the kesra dough an allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. You can wait up to 24 hours to bake your kesra bread if you keep the dough in your refrigerator.
6. Divide the dough into two parts. Roll into balls.
7. Roll out or flatten the balls so they are the size of the pan you will be baking with. Your kesra should be roughly 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. You may need to use smaller balls of dough.
8. Carefully place the dough into your pan and use a fork to poke some holes into the dough.
9. Bake slowly until one side is golden brown (about 12 to 15 minutes). Flip the bread and bake the other side. Be sure to rotate the kesra every 5 minutes or so to avoid burning the bread.
Makes 2 breads depending on the size of your pan.
* You can use other oils instead of olive oil like canola, corn, or another vegetable oil.
* Kesra recipes vary the amount of olive oil from 1 tablespoon to roughly 1/3 cup for each 2 cups of semolina flour. Trying varying the amount of olive oil.
*Can't find Semolina Flour in your supermarket? Look for Durum Wheat Flour or Pasta Flour.
Couscous is also made from semolina flour and is a popular staple food in much of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Semolina flour is high in protein containing 42% of daily recommended amount of protein, 80% of phosphorus, and almost a day's worth of thiamine (vitamin B1) and niacin (vitamin B3) in 1 cup.
If you can't find semolina flour locally, Amazon.com sells Semolina Flour from Hodgson Mill.