581.Fatayer Jebneh(White cheese pastries)#BreadBakers
Fatayer Jebneh or cheese pastries are popular pastries sold in the Middle Eastern countries. They are called pastries or pies but unlike the western world pies which are made with flour and fat, these are made with a yeast dough. These pastries are popular street food served in Egypt, Lebanon and Middle East countries. The origin of these pastries is unknown as each country claims it as their own.
The yeast dough has yogurt and baking powder added to it to make it soft. The filling for fatayer can be cheese (Jebneh), meat or spinach. The shape too varies. They can be cigar shaped, round, triangle or boat shaped.
The cheese fatayers are usually filled with akkawi, a salty, chewy cheese that originates from Palestine mixed with a little bit of cheddar and kashkaval cheese. However if these cheeses are not available one can combine feta, mozzarella or ricotta with some cheddar cheese. Spices usually that are used to flavour the filling are nigella seeds or zaatar or a combination of cayenne and paprika powder. Herbs used are usually coriander, flat parsley or mint.
I had this recipe bookmarked ever since I came across it on Saswan’s blog ‘Chef in Disguise’. Dinner guests and Sue of Palatable Pastime‘s suggestion to use any kind of peppers—fresh, dried, ground, sweet or hot, the three just fell into the slot perfectly. One more bookmarked recipe done, followed Sue’s suggested theme for August and happy guests. What more can I ask for. Sue thank you for an interesting theme.
Must admit when I read peppers for the Bread Bakers’ theme, the Indian in me was calling out for a hot hot hot bread… not temperature wise but taste wise. However, had to hold back and just put a wee bit as kids too were my dinner guests.
I used a combination of feta (as we don’t get akkawi), mozzarella and cheddar cheese. I added both fresh coriander and mint to the filling and sprinkled a combination of cayenne and paprika powders along with some sesame seeds.
FATAYER JEBNEH (WHITE CHEESE PASTRIES)
Makes 10 big pieces or 24 small ones
For the dough (pastry):
3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup yogurt (room temperature)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ -1 cup warm water
For the filling:
100g feta cheese
100g mozzarella cheese
100g cheddar cheese
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tbsp sesame seeds( or nigella seeds)
milk or olive oil for brushing
extra flour for dusting
extra oil for greasing
Preparation of the dough:
- Mix flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and yeast in a big bowl.
- Add olive oil and rub into the flour.
- Mix water and yogurt. Use the mixture to form a dough.
- Knead the dough till it becomes smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Grease the bowl and dough with oil and cover it with a tea towel or cling film.
- Let the dough rise till double in size.
- Crumble or grate the feta cheese.
- Grate mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
- Mix the cheeses.
- Mix paprika and cayenne powders.
- Add coriander, mint and a bit of the mixed pepper powder to the cheese.
- Mix well.
- Divide the dough into 20 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
- Using a bit of extra flour roll one part into a 8cm X 10cm oval.
- Put a tablespoonful of the filling in the middle.
- Fold one edge of partially over the filling.
- Fold the other part but not covering the filling. The ends of both folds should overlap.
- Press the ends.It should look like a boat.
- Repeat steps 2-6 with the remaining dough balls.
- Place the fatayer on a greased or lined baking tray.
- Let the dough rise for 20-25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C.
- Brush the tops of the fatayer with milk or olive oil.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the dough part.
- Bake the fatayers for 15-20 minutes or till they are light golden in colour.
- Remove the fatayers from the oven and cool them on the wire rack.
- Sprinkle the remaining paprika cayenne powder mixture over the cheese part while still hot.
- Enjoy them with mint tea, coffee or some soup.
- Adding yogurt and baking powder makes the dough more soft and pliable.
- Shape them into triangles, round or cigar shapes.
- Use zaatar instead of the coriander and mint. Can use dried coriander and mint.
- Add the pepper powders according to your taste. I used half quantity in the filling and half to sprinkle over. My cayenne pepper was not too hot.
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