The BBB Bake up some Moroccan Ksra

Since Moroccan tagine happens to be one of my daughter's favorite dishes, when I found this bread that is traditionally served with tagine, I knew I wanted to try it out.  It is a flatbread with anise seed and in this version, barley flour or rolled barley.   (If you don't like anise you could always sub fennel or caraway I would guess.)  I expect it will be great with any stew or soup type dinner.  I couldn't find my rolled barley in the freezer, so I ground some pearl barley into flour.  If you can't find barley, you can always use whole wheat flour, rye or semolina.  I have seen this bread often topped with sesame seeds before baking, and it can be made on the grill as well.  You just have to be careful of hot spots and turn the flame down low while grilling and flip often. I think perhaps for my grill, preheat on medium instead of high.   I made my dough 3 days before I ended up using it and it will last up to 10 days in the refrigerator.  My grilled batch dough was 7-8 days old.  As it only needs a 30 minute rest before baking, this makes it a convenient flatbread to serve with dinner!  This batch makes two 7-8" wide, fairly thick rounds that are cut into wedges to serve.  You don't have to chill it first, but as it is somewhat sticky, it is definitely easier to work with after chilling.

We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a wonderful bread to quickly bake up to go with any meal. You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished flatbread to me at eleyana (AT) aol (DOT) com, along with a photo and your baking experience by Mar. 31st and be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

(Oh yes, I tried this bread as a sourdough and it worked just fine, but what was even better, I made half the dough into the flatbread and then a few days later decided to make the remaining half into sourdough waffles...  Seriously the best waffles EVER.  Lighter than air, melt in your mouth, tender and crispy.  And they reheated fabulously as well.  Two thumbs up from all family members, so a very versatile dough to say the least!  Another Babe did a proper sourdough conversion formula, but I just used the quick and simple rule to adapt recipes to sourdough: Substitute 1 cup of starter for each package of yeast, and then subtract about ½ cup of water and ¾ cup of flour from the recipe to compensate for the water and flour in the starter.)

Ksra (Moroccan Anise and Barley Flatbread)
from the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes two 7-8" rounds

340g (1½ cups) Lukewarm water (100ºF or less)
5g (1½ tsp) dry yeast
8.5-12.5g (1½-1¾ tsp) kosher salt
3.5g (1½ tsp) whole anise seeds
45g (6 tbsp) barley flour or 35g (6 tbsp) rolled barley
407.5g (2¾ c + 2 tbsp) all purpose flour (I used half sprouted flour 50/50 spelt and kamut blend)

To make the dough:

Mix together the yeast, salt, anise and water in a large bowl or container.  Stir in the remaining ingredients with a large wooden spoon, dough whisk, or in a mixer with the paddle.  Mix until the flour is incorporated fully.

Cover and rest until the dough has fully risen and collapsed back down a bit, about 2 hours.  (I put mine straight in the fridge and didn't use it for three days!)

You may use the dough after the initial rise but it's easier to work with cold.  Dough will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.

To bake:

Divide the dough in half, dust with flour, and shape each portion into a ball by stretching the sides down to the bottom of the ball and folding under.  You may also work with only one portion of dough if you like, the other will keep in the fridge for another day.

Flatten each ball into a ¾" thick round and let rest on a parchment lined or cornmeal dusted pizza peel for 20-30 minutes.  Optional to sprinkle with sesame seeds or more anise seed.  Press lightly to help the seeds stick, or use an egg white wash to really hold them on!  Also optional to poke the dough with a skewer in a few places prior to baking.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450ºF.  Place a baking stone near the middle of the oven and a metal pan or broiler tray on an unused oven rack and heat a cup of water to use for steam while baking.  (If you do not have a baking stone, you can use an inverted baking sheet, a cast iron pan, a pizza pan, or the grill on med-high!)  (If you use a grill, you will need to flip the dough periodically.)

Slide rested loaf directly onto hot stone.  Pour 1 cup of hot water into the metal pan or tray for steam and quickly close the oven door.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until richly browned and firm.

Don't let the cat steal it!  (He really wanted some.)

Allow to cool before cutting into wedges to serve.

Grilled Ksra

Baked Ksra

We enjoyed our first baked Ksra with kheema nariyal saag (beef curry and spinach), and after a week in the fridge for the other half of the dough, grilled up another flatbread to have with tagine.  The flavor of the sesame seeds was wonderful and smokey after grilling and the anise flavor had developed a little more.  Be careful to heat the grill well, but grill over a low flame and flip often, watching out for hot spots.  There will be large bubbles developing, it's very fun to grill this bread.  It is brilliant warm, with butter, and I used it for poached egg on toast as well.  Yum.

Fabulous for soaking up sauces!

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition for one wedge of flatbread made using half wholemeal flour and cutting each flatbread into eight wedges:


In case you're wondering about those fabulous waffles, here is what I did.  And I expect it would work with the standard recipe just as well as the sourdough version I made though I would recommend the dough be a couple days old for best flavor.  You don't need any more flour, the batter comes together right from the dough.

½ recipe Ksra dough, either sourdough or rested two days in the fridge.
¾ cup milk (I used cashew milk this time)
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 scant tbsp sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
¼ cup oil or melted butter

Preheat a waffle iron.

Combine dough and milk in a bowl, breaking up dough into small pieces and stirring to incorporate.  Don't over mix, just until most of the pieces of dough are broken down into the batter.  Stir in the egg, baking powder, soda and sweetener, and then the melted butter or oil.  Pour ¼ cupfuls onto a standard waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Makes about 16 waffles.

Enjoy with berries, whipped cream, syrup, powdered sugar, or your favorite toppings.


  1. Thanks Kelly for a great bread! Love the photo of the cat. I can't wait to try this on the grill!

  2. Thanks for the fun challenge Kelly! Your loaf looks great! I need to try this one again as well. On the grill would be great!

  3. Waffles!! Cool idea! (We love waffles made with sourdough starter)

    Kelly, this was really fun bread to make. I'm so glad you chose it. I'm also glad you didn't give complete permission to leave out the anise seeds. Because it turns out that when the bread is served with a Moroccan-style tagine, the anise seed flavour seems to be required. Neither of us is a fan of anise seed, but we really liked it in this bread.

    I can't wait until the snow and ice disappears so we can try baking the bread on the barbecue. It looks and sounds really really really good that way.

    (Hahaha! Love the cat photo - thank you for the warning that our furry black creature will want to steal the bread next time we make it.)

  4. Wow, I can not wait to try these as waffles! I've attached it to this recipe.
    We really enjoyed this. Mine done with whole grain is more dense and close crumbed than yours but totally delightful.
    Sweet Kitty, did you really push him away? Maybe you gave Kitty just a small crumb?

  5. Love the cat! Yummy bread, too.

  6. We use our tagine a lot and this would be a great bread. And easy is always good.
    Love the cat pic lol

  7. I think yours is the best looking Ksra in the group. I'm in love with it.
    We're not big fans of anise seeds in bread though we like it in some savoury stews. It was somehow right in this bread.
    Waffles - what a lovely idea.


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