Moroccan butter rghaif showing layers

Baked Msemmens or plain butter Rghaifs


Moroccan butter Rghaif or baked msemmens are a treat for breakfast or afternoon tea time. They can be served plain along with jam or honey, or  sprinkled with sugar. They offer contrasting textures of soft layers in the inside and a crunchy outer layer.

I remember my eldest sister making a massive butter Rghifa by putting about 4 Msemmens inside each others. The result is a family-size baked treat which is also much easier to shape than individual ones.


Moroccan butter rghaif showing layers

Moroccan butter rghaif showing layers. Credit @Nada Kiffa

You can sprinkle blanched, roasted and crushed almonds inside along with sugar and cinnamon for en even more indulging treat. It will look like a “Millefeuille”. For today, I’m just posting the plain butter version which remains my favourite.


A slice of baked butter rghaief served with jam

A slice of baked butter rghaief served with jam. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Serves 8
Prep: 20 min – Resting: 30 min – Baking: 25-30 min

  • 350 g of strong white flour
  • 150 g of extra fine semolina or semolina flour
  • 1/4 tsp of dried instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 270 ml (+/-) of water, barely lukewarm

For laminating

  • 80 g of butter, soft to a creamy texture or melted and cooled
  • 80 ml of oil
  • 60 g of extra fine semolina or semolina flour

 For eggwash

  • 1 egg yolk or just melted butter

Mix all ingredients and gradually add water to knead the dough.

Passed 10 minutes of kneading time by machine or 20 minutes by hands, you should get a soft  and elastic dough which is should not be sticky. Cover the dough for 15 min.

Oil your hands and divide dough into several balls double the ferrero chocolate balls.
Hopefully you get a pair number as we will pair each squares we will be making. 

Generously oil a tray when you can place all these dough balls. Oil them from each side and cover for another 10 min. See more about this method in the Msemmen post.

Follow the same guideline to make a coupled Msemmen or Rghaif but do not flatten in the last bit.

Place each coupled Msemmen on an oiled baking sheet. Leave at least 15 cm between each. Flatten slightly with your fingers. 


Brush the top of each coupled Msemmen with butter.

Preaheat the oven to 180-190 C. bake until golden from top and bottom of each Rghifa.

Serve warm or at room temperature within a few hours of baking Rghaifs. The ideal drink to go with these laminated pancakes is a good Moroccan mint tea.


The standard baked butter rghaifs are basically made with a square of laminated dough into another.
The bigger they become the more squares you can put inside then flatten the whole square.

Example: for a 26 cm square or round pan, you could have 3 or 4 msemmens laminated into each others, you will have multiple layers. There is butter between each two layers to enrich the dough and add good taste.


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