[Sca-cooks] Puff Paste - Fadalat

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 6 21:03:19 PDT 2007

Apparently Charles Perry wrote about this recipe and one in the 
Anonymous Andalusian in an issue of PPC in 1984.

 From the Fadalat:


Confeccio'n del hojaldre, que son las mantecadas

Se amasa la se'mola o la harina de flor con agua y sal y se soba bien 
sobada. Luego se dcrrite [sic - should be derrite] manteca, se 
extiende un pedazo de masa en la amasadera lo ma's fina posible. se 
dobla despue's de haberla untado por dentro con manteca, se extiende 
otra vez, se golpea con la palmi de la mano y se pone en la sarte'n o 
en la paila a la lumbre, despue's de haberla untado con un poco de 
manteca, para que no se abrase. Cuando esta' cocida, se retira de la 
lumbre y se la golpea con las  dos manos para que se rompan y separen 
unos trozos de otros. Luego se ponen en una sopera y se tapan con un 
panyuelo y se hace otro tanto con el resto de la masa, hasta el 
final. Se riegan luego con miel caliente espumada. se espolvorea con 
canela y azu'car, y se come.

El que quiera puede hacerlo en panes pequenyos y untarlos con 
manteca, poner uno dentro de otro y extender todos ellos con el 
rodillo o con la mano, que queden sumamente delgados, y cocerlos en 
la paila, lo mismo que antes. Se riegan con miel y se comen.


Preparation of "puff pastry", that is the buttery ones

Knead semolina or fine flour with water and salt and work until well 
worked. Next melt butter, stretch a piece of the dough in the finest 
possible kneading bowl.

MY NOTE: In modern Morocco a very very wide, absolutely flat, 
unglazed ceramic dish with only slightly raised sides (straight up, 
not curved), called gsaa, is used for kneading dough. I really wanted 
one of these, but it would have been rather difficult to bring home. 
Anyway, this is how they work dough for a traditional Moroccan pastry 
- all within the bowl. I wonder what the word was in the original for 
this essential kitchen tool.

Fold it after having greased it on the inside with butter, stretch 
again, strike it with palm of the hand and put it in the frying pan 
(probably with a long handle) (sarte'n) or paila (a wide flat shallow 
basin) on the fire, after having greased it with a little butter, so 
that doesn't burn. When it is cooked, withdraw it from the fire and 
strike it with both hands so that the pieces are broken and separated 
one from the others. Next they are put in a soup pot and they are 
covered with a handkerchief and the same with the rest of the dough, 
until the end (it is used up). They are sprinkled next with skimmed 
hot honey. Dust them with cinnamon and sugar, and eat them.

MY NOTE: This variation is very like modern Moroccan rghaif (r = 
flapped r (like Spanish or Italian r); gh = French r; each vowel is 
sounded separately -ah-eef - this is a 2 or 3 syllable word), only 
without the addition of yeast.

If one wants, one can make it into little breads (cakes, in the 
Medieval/Renaissance sense, i'm guessing) and grease them with 
butter, put one within another one and stretch all of them with the 
roller or the hand, that is extremely thin, and cook them in paila (a 
cooking pan of metal or stoneware that is wide and shallow), just 
like before. They are sprinkled with honey and they are eaten.

MY NOTE: This variation is very like modern Moroccan M'semen (yes, 
this is cognate with Musammana - Moroccan Arabic always seems to lose 
vowels), in which the dough is only folded once or twice then 
stretched again, before being fried in the pan and served with honey.

I've got modern recipes for m'semem and rghaif, if anyone's interested...


And here is the recipe for flaky pastry from the Andalusian cookbook

Preparation of Musammana [Buttered] Which Is Muwarraqa [Leafy]

Take pure semolina or wheat flour and knead a stiff dough without 
yeast. Moisten it little by little and don't stop kneading it until 
it relaxes and is ready and is softened so that you can stretch a 
piece without severing it. Then put it in a new frying pan on a 
moderate fire. When the pan has heated, take a piece of the dough and 
roll it out thin on marble or a board. Smear it with melted clarified 
butter or fresh butter liquefied over water. Then roll it up like a 
cloth until it becomes like a reed. Then twist it and beat it with 
your palm until it becomes like a round thin bread, and if you want, 
fold it over also. Then roll it out and beat it with your palm a 
second time until it becomes round and thin. Then put it in a heated 
frying pan after you have greased the frying pan with clarified 
butter, and whenever the clarified butter dries out, moisten [with 
butter] little by little, and turn it around until it binds, and then 
take it away and make more until you finish the amount you need. Then 
pound them between your palms and toss on butter and boiling honey. 
When it has cooled, dust it with ground sugar and serve it.

MY NOTE: This is a lot like another Moroccan pan-fried pastry, 
meelowi: the dough is made - usually for ease it is pulled apart into 
an equal number of balls, then one works with the balls, one at at 
time. One stretches the dough into a flat shape, rolls it up like a 
rug, beat it flat, the work the flat strip into a flat circle that is 
beaten flat with the hands.

In modern Morocco one does NOT use a rolling pin. Just as these 
recipes indicate, one stretches the dough by hand until it is 
translucent - or almost transparent.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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