How to Make Gluten-Free Moroccan Pancakes (Baghrir)
Have breakfast anywhere in Morocco and you’re bound to see a plate of baghrir — a spongy crêpe nicknamed the “thousand hole pancake” in French. The crêpe’s nooks and crannies create the perfect surface for soaking up syrups. (Which in my case was lots of orange blossom honey.) After a week in Marrakech I developed a fondness for a morning baghrir and wanted to add the Moroccan treat to my rotation of weekend pancakes.
Traditionally baghrir are made with semolina and all-purpose flour. I didn’t mind when I was traveling but wanted a gluten-free crêpe at home. After a few trials (and errors) I found the right alternatives to make the spongy crêpe. Here’s how to make fluffy, gluten-free baghrir.
Recipe for Gluten-Free Moroccan Pancakes (Baghrir)
Makes 8-10 pancakes
125 g (1 cup) gluten-free baking flour
20 g (2 tbsp) oat flour
1/2 heaping tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
250 ml (1 cup) warm water
Melted butter and honey or jam for serving
- Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add dry ingredients and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. The batter should be liquidy without any lumps.
- Pour batter in a bowl and cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. It’s ready when bubbles form at the top.
- Add batter to blender and blend again for a few seconds.
- Meanwhile, heat a nonstick pan over medium to high heat. When pan is hot, place a small amount of batter in the middle. Cook the baghrir one on side (never flip) for 1-2 minutes. The pancake is cooked when it looks dried out.
- Repeat until all the batter is used.
- Arrange on a plate (do not stack) and serve with melted butter and honey or jam.
- If you don’t see bubbles when cooking the baghrir it could be: 1) the pan isn’t hot enough, 2) the batter is too thick or 3) the yeast isn’t fully hydrated. First, increase the heat under the pan and try again. Or, add a couple more tablespoons of water to the batter, blend it and let sit for another 10 minutes.
- Never flip the pancake. You’ll lose the 1,000 holes!
- Hot baghrir will stick together. Don’t stack them, loosely arrange on a plate.
- It’s possible to substitute the gluten-free and oat flours with another flour alternative. Just keep in mind heavier alternatives will require more water and will have less bubbles. (I’m looking at you, buckwheat.)
Leftover baghrir can be frozen for another day.
Going to Marrakech? Learn how to make baghrir and other Moroccan sweets with the incredible women at the nonprofit Amal Center.