Algerian butter bread, or in this case it’s more like butter biscuits!
Not like the bread that we normally make here. It is heavier and denser, but the flavour is outstanding. Especially if you opt in to using the saffron.
There is no leavening agent in this recipe. No yeast or baking powder. That is why the bread is quite thin so that it can get cooked thoroughly in a pan.
I chose this recipe for the Baking World Tour as it was something I had never made before. And the result is quite nice. Together with the delicious and simple shakshuka this makes a great breakfast that will power you throughout the day!
If you have never tried shakshuka, then this will be a treat for you. Tomato sauce poached eggs. Now that sounds like breakfast heaven to me! 😊
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
250g (8.8oz) fine cornmeal
100g (3.5oz) soft butter
5g (0.17oz) salt
20g (0.7oz) sugar
100g (3.5oz) warm water
Pinch of saffron
For the shakshuka –
1 tin 400g (14oz) good quality chopped tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
Cumin, paprika, nutmeg & a pinch of chili
Salt & pepper
Oil for cooking
- Add the saffron to the warm water and let it soak for 15 minutes. During this time, it will release its flavour and colour, and the water will get some time to cool down so that we can add it to the dough without melting the butter.
- In a bowl combine the cornmeal, sugar & salt. Mix well.
- Add the butter and rub it into the cornmeal until the mix becomes nice and crumbly.
- Add the saffron water to the cornmeal and mix well. You can strain out the saffron strands, but I personally don’t mind having them in the dough.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough hydrate for around 30 minutes. The cornmeal is coarser than regular flour, so it takes a while to soak up the liquid.
- Flatten the dough using some cornmeal to prevent it from sticking to your table. Cut it to size. This is where you can make them any shape or size you wish. The bigger the softer, the smaller the crunchier.
- Cook the breads in a pan on low heat for around 7 minutes per side or until nicely browned all over. I think a dry pan is normally used, but you could also use some oil. That would give the bread a nicely golden crust.
- Make the shakshuka. Cook the onions and garlic in some oil on medium heat until they start to colour. Add the peppers and keep cooking. Add the salt to make the peppers release moisture. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the spices and tomatoes.
- Keep cooking on medium heat until the sauce thickens. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Using a spoon move the sauce to make holes for the eggs. Crack the eggs, season with salt & pepper, cover the pan with a lid and cook until done.
Sprinkle your shakshuka with plenty of herbs and enjoy!
Both the bread and the shakshuka are best eaten fresh from the pan.
Watch the video here