Semolina Scallion Cakes
Sometimes the easiest way to describe a recipe is to imagine that a few commonly known things got into a car wreck and the result is the new food.
These cakes are kind of a car wreck between English muffins, pancakes, and a scallion farm.
They are like homemade english muffins because you basically make a bread that you fry in a super-hot pan. They are like pancakes because they look like pancakes and are great with maple syrup.
Because the cakes have no leavening ingredient though, they stay really dense so the scallions help break up some of the density of the cakes.
If you’ve read Macheesmo for more than a week, you’ll probably know that I love sweet and savory combinations so these guys were right up my alley.
1) Stir together flours, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.
2) Add melted butter to mix and use fingers to grind the butter into the flour until it is a rough sand consistency.
3) Add half cup of water and stir to combine. Add another half cup of water and start kneading the dough lightly. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes until it’s nice and smooth.
4) Rough dough out on a clean surface and add scallions. Fold dough over and continue to knead dough, distributing scallions throughout.
5) Let dough rest for 25-30 minutes.
6) Cut dough into 12 even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it out into a roughly five inch circle.
7) In a large heavy skillet or griddle heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add as many cakes as can fit in the pan and let them lightly fry for about four minutes per side until they are almost charred around the edges.
8) Serve cakes immediately with maple syrup!
If you want to cook all the cakes before serving them, keep cooked cakes warm in a 250 degree oven as you cook the next batch.
This dough is a bit more complicated to make than a pancake batter, but not by much.
The semolina flour is very important and I wouldn’t recommend substituting it. It’s gives the cakes a great texture. If you just can’t find the stuff, you might be able to get away with a very fine cornmeal.
Mix the flours, sugar, and salt in a bowl and then drizzle in your melted butter.
Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like course sand. Unlike in pie crust, you don’t want huge pieces of butter in this. You want the butter pretty evenly distributed.
Next, start adding water to the mixture until it forms a loose dough that you can knead. This should be about a cup of water total.
Knead the dough for about four minutes on a clean surface until you have a really smooth dough. It shouldn’t be sticky at all. If it is, knead in a bit more flour.
To get the scallions involved, roll out the dough and just liberally sprinkle the scallions on top. Then fold the dough over and continue to knead it which will work the scallions into the dough.
Don’t skimp on the scallions.
Let the dough rest for thirty minutes. The dough won’t rise at all because it doesn’t have any yeast or anything in it, but it still needs to rest so the flour can absorb all the water and relax a bit. If you don’t do this, your cakes will end up being a bit tough.
Making the Cakes
Once the dough has rested, just cube it up into twelve even pieces. You can just eyeball them.
Then work with one piece at a time and roll the dough out into a thin disc.
Add a few tablespoons of oil to a large skillet (a cast iron skillet would work great) over medium-high heat.
Once the pan is hot, add in as many breads as will fit and fry them for about 4 minutes per side.
They should end up being nicely browned and slightly charred around the edges.
These are about perfect.
If you want to make all the cakes before serving, just keep the cooked ones warm in a 250 degree oven while you work on the others.
Serve these guys with a good dose of maple syrup.
These are really different from many of the breakfast breads I’ve had and made over the years, but I had no problem shoveling down a few of them!