Murakkaba: The Moroccan Mufleta

Hélène Jawhara Piñer
Recipe by
Hélène Jawhara Piñer

In the Kitāb al-ṭabīẖ region of Spain, there are two recipes that correspond to the famous mufleta, which is still prepared today in the same way by Moroccan Sephardic Jews: "Murakkaba" and " Murakkaba Layered with Dates." This sweet dish is composed of alternating layers of dough "glued" to each other and turned upside down, a technique found throughout Jewish cuisine. Recipe titles may have varied throughout the ages, and ingredients may have been modified, but the culinary techniques used have remained intact.

For the dough:
2 3⁄4 cup (430g) flour
1 cup (150 g) extra fine semolina
1⁄2 tbsp fresh yeast, crushed (or 1⁄2 tbsp active dry yeast, or 1 tbsp sourdough starter)
1⁄3 cup (66 ml) water (to mix with the yeast)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1⁄8 cup (13 g) sugar
1 cup (200 ml) water
neutral oil for frying
sugar to sprinkle
For the drizzle:
1 cup (340 g) honey
1⁄2 cup (100 g) melted butter
10 dates chopped into small pieces
  • Mix the flour, salt, semolina, yeast, and lukewarm water in a pot.
  • Knead the resulting dough for 10 minutes.
  • Form 8 small balls, brush them with oil, and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Take one ball and flatten it out to form a very thin disc. Put it in a hot, greased pan for about 10 seconds, then turn it over. Flatten a second ball and put the new disc on top of the first one. Turn the two layers upside down. Flatten a third ball and place it on top. Keep going until you have no more disks left, turning the pastry upside down each time you form a new layer.
  • Place the murakkaba on a serving plate.
  • Chop the dates into small pieces and sprinkle them on top, then pour melted butter and honey over the murakkaba.