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Recipe For Murakkaba Layered With dates


This is an excerpt from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
(Andalusia, 13th c. - Charles Perry, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

Recipe for Murakkaba Layered with Dates. Take the dough described under murakkaba kutamiyya and make of it a thin flatbread in a heated tajine, and when it is done, turn it over, and top it with dates that have been cleaned, pounded, kneaded in the hands and moistened with oil. Smooth them with the palm, then put on another flatbread and turn it over, and then another bread, and repeat this until it is as high as desired. When it is done on all sides, put it in a dish and pour over it hot oil and honey cleaned of its scum; this is how the people of Ifriqiyya make it.
It is desirable that the conditions of the various kinds of rafîs be known. Its dough should be of pure semolina with moderate yeast, and the salt should be very little, so that no flavor of salt is tasted, and the butter should be boiled and strained, and the honey skimmed, and if it is made with oil, this should be hot, so none of the flavor of the raw oil should remain. It is baked in a tannur so the bread will be detached, porous and spongy inside. If you pound it until the rafîs is soft and moist, and if you make the rafîs with fat, it will be tastier and sweeter and easier to digest. and if it is not leavened the bread will be dough and the rafîs firm and compact, like the rafî s of the Berbers and that of the marketplace, and it will not do except for weary laborers or for feeding chickens.

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