Palestinian Cheese Buns

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Palestinian cheese buns 15/05/2017

An authentic Palestinian bread from Jaffa that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad, this “Yafawi Sfeeha”, also known as “Milwayeh” which means twisted, is crispy yet fluffy and full of flavour.

The dough is a sort of un-yeasted bread dough that needs to be stretched out really thin, to the point where you can see through it, before adding the filling and rolling it up. The shaping technique takes a bit of practice to get right but you get the hang of it after you have done a couple.

The filling is traditionally meat based but I have chosen to make a cheese version using halloumi as that is what I had available. Feta would be great too.

Makes: 8

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 210g (1 + ¾ cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tbsp powdered milk
  • 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 130ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) water
  • olive oil or ghee for shaping

Filling:

  • 250g (9 oz) halloumi cheese, grated (or feta, crumbled)
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • fresh ground black pepper

Palestinian cheese buns2

Method:

  1. Place the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and vegetable oil in a bowl and gradually add the water until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 even pieces and shape into balls, place on a greased tray and cover with oiled clingfilm, leave to rest for at least a couple of hours and up to overnight.
  3. Once the dough has rested make the filling, simply mix together the grated cheese, beaten egg and chopped parsley in a bowl with some freshly ground black pepper. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  4. Grease a work surface and your hands well with olive oil or ghee; take one ball of dough and use your hands to gently spread it out on the oiled surface into a large, thin circle. You should be able to spread it out to about 25cm (10in) wide and it should be thin enough to see through.
  5. Fold one side of the circle over the middle, then the other, so that the dough is almost folded into thirds.
  6. Spread some of the filling along one edge of the dough, fold the closest side over the top of the filling then roll it up into a tight sausage; coil the sausage up in a spiral shape, place the bun on a baking tray.
  7. Re-grease the work surface and your hands and repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Khachapuri

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kachapori 14/05/2017

The recipe is very loosely adapted from traditional Georgian versions but makes use of what I had in at the time. First, for a lack of Georgian cheese supplies, I used a more generic assortment of cheeses including parmesan and mozzarella, which yielded a satisfactory gooey-ness and savoury flavour.  Instead of mixing them with egg before baking, as is traditional, I used a thick bechamel sauce because I thought it would be a nice change and provide a creamier filling. You can substitute the sauce for egg if you like or even crack one on top when baking! The added tapenade really gave the bread another depth of savouriness and flavour. Rip off the crust and dunk it into the gooey centre for ultimate yum!

Makes 4 large breads.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil

Filling:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • ¾ cup milk, cold
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to top
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 320g of equal parts of grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 tbsp black olive tapenade (recipe in instructions)

 

Method:

  1. For the dough: Place salt and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast but do not let the yeast directly contact the salt.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  3. Work the dough into a soft warm ball then slap it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl and lightly oil the dough itself so a crust does not form. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. For the filling: While the dough is proofing, cook/stir butter and flour in a pan over medium heat for 1 min. Add the cold milk and whisk the mixture continuously until it starts to simmer and thicken. The consistency should be like mayonnaise. Add the grated nutmeg then season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Let the sauce COOL COMPLETELY then evenly mix in the grated cheese (the cheese should not melt). Set aside.
  6. If you’re making your own tapenade: In a food-processor, combine 155g pitted black olives, 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 anchovy fillets, 3/4 tsp white wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Puree the mixture as smoothly as you can. Set aside.
  7. To bake the bread:Preheat the oven on 250C, with a pizza-stone or large inverted cast-iron pan in the middle.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large oval with pointy tips then transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Rub 1-2 tbsp of tapenade over the dough, then pile ¼ of the cheese-mixture across the middle. Fold the dough over to partially cover the cheese, then bring the 2 ends together and tuck the tips underneath itself, then pinch at the bottom so it sticks. Repeat with the others.
  9. Slide the parchment with the bread on top, onto the pizza-stone or inverted cast-iron pan. Bake for 10 min until golden browned on all sides.

Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Dough Balls

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Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-56-09-1[1] 28/08/2016

I only made these because I had a bit of pizza dough that needed using up in the fridge but this is how most of my tasty creations begin and this is no exception. Warm fresh dough encases a gooey cheese centre topped with rich garlic butter. They are fantastic served with a fresh tomato and basil sauce to dunk into. Far superior to anything you can buy, these go down an absolute storm when served in the middle of the table for everyone to dive into.

Ingredients:

  • 300g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 Garlic granules
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 30g Butter, softened
  • 160ml luke warm Water
  • 50g-60g block of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Boursin, optional

For the garlic butter:

  • 20g Butter, melted.
  • 2 Garlic cloves, grated

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Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-57-50-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-25-14-54-12-1[1]

Directions:

  1. Measure the flour into a bowl.
  2. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt, sugar and garlic to the other side.
  3. Add the oil and butter and begin to mix, slowly add the water until the dough comes together. Once it has all come together, don’t add any more.
  4. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough begins to look glossy and becomes stretchy.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220C/200Cfan.
  7. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knock back to remove the air bubbles.
  8. Weigh the dough out into balls weighing approximately 30g
  9. Add roughly 3g of the cubed mozzarella to each piece of dough. At this point you can also sneak a mini scoop of garlic and herb boursin into the centre to intensify the oozy cheesy goodness. I only did it because I had a bit to use up but am so glad I did. Fold the dough around the cheese and roll into a ball.
  10. Arrange the doughballs (you should have about 15-20) onto a greaseproof lined baking sheet in a circle, leaving a little gap in between each one.
  11. Mix the melted butter and garlic together and brush half over the top of each dough ball.
  12. Place the dough balls in the oven for 15 minutes until golden. Brush the remaining garlic butter over the balls once baked for an extra garlicky flavour.

Homemade Pizza

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IMG_20150114_202826[1] 14/01/2015

Homemade pizza is so much tastier than shop bought any day of the week. You can tailor make it exactly to your liking, you know exactly what has gone into it, it is so much cheaper and tastes so fresh.

I have even flavoured this particular dough with garlic and thyme.

This recipe yields two pizzas. If you don’t need both bases, roll both out but don’t top one then you can freeze it on a tray and wrap it in clingfilm once frozen. You then have a tasty, homemade pizza base ready to pull out of the freezer for another time.

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil

For the toppings:

  • 1 small jar of pizza topping or your favourite marinara sauce
  • 75g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 25g parmesan, grated
  • Your favourite toppings. I used mushrooms and garlic salami

Directions:

For the pizza dough:

  1. Place salt, garlic powder, dried thyme and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast but do not let the yeast directly contact the salt.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  3. Work the dough into a soft warm ball then slap it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl and lightly oil the dough itself so a crust does not form. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

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To assemble the pizza:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place two baking trays in the oven while it is heating.
  2. Knock back the dough and divide it into two. Roll the first half out to fit the tray you will bake it on. Do this on a very well floured surface. Spread half of the pizza topping sauce onto the dough then add half of the cheese. Top with whatever toppings you desire.                                           IMG_20150114_202910[1]
  3. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  4. Transfer the pizzas onto the hot trays and bake for 12-14 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and melted and the crust has lightly browned. Allow the pizzas to cool for a few minute before cutting into slices.

Pizza Wheels

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IMG_20141222_231610[1] 23/12/2014

Pizza wheels are great for dinner or as a different idea for a party snack. I have included two recipes here. One for a pepperoni pizza filling and one for a goats cheese and caramelised onion filling. Both are really tasty hot or cold but it is up to you to put whatever you like in yours.

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil

For assembly:

  • 1/2 jar pizza topping sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2-2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 24-30 thinly sliced pepperoni
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup medium yellow cornmeal
  • Goats cheese, smooth and creamy
  • Caramelised red onion chutney

Directions:

For the pizza dough:

  1. Place salt and flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar and yeast.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil. Mix together with your fingers.
  3. Work the dough into a soft warm ball then slap it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl and lightly oil the dough itself so a crust does not form. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

For the assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place half the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about an 1/8 inch thick rectangle (try to get the dough to 9”x12”). Stick one of the longer sides down to the surface by pressing your finger down along the edge and scraping along the surface. This will help you to roll up the wheels.
  3. Spread half the pizza topping sauce sparingly over dough leaving a 1cm border along the side you just stuck down and top with oregano and garlic.
    Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over sauce and finish by topping the dough with the pepperoni (I like to slightly overlap the pepperoni over one another).
  4. Starting at the long end that has not been stuck down, carefully roll dough into a large, tight log and place onto a tray dusted with cornmeal, seam side down.
  5. Roll out the other half of the dough in the same way, cover with pizza topping sauce then gently and evenly spread over goats cheese and the onion chutney. Roll up into a log in the same way and place onto the tray with the other log, seam side down.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the fridge and cut 1”-1 1/2” pinwheels from the logs.
  8. Dredge one cut side of each pinwheel in the cornmeal until well coated and place (cornmeal side down) onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.
  9. Sprinkle the top of each wheel with a small amount of Parmesan and bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve with extra sauces for dipping or leave to cool as party bites.

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