The July Daring Bakers’ Challenge was brought to us by Manal from Manal’s Bites. She introduced us to an authentic Palestinian dish from Jaffa that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad. The “Yafawi Sfeeha” or also known as “Milwayeh” which means twisted, is crispy yet tender and full of flavor.
As I mentioned the filling was pretty easy one to make. We were supposed to mix the cheese, an egg, parsley and pepper. I skipped the egg while making my filling. You can store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator and reheat them a bit when serving. Or freeze them in a single layer in the freezer for up to 3 months. But mine didn’t last for this long, it got wiped the same day!
This dish will need some planning ahead as the dough needs to rest overnight if possible. But once you start working, it will take a couple of hours from start to finish depending on the amount you are making.
An authentic Palestinian dish from Jaffa that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad, crispy on the outside and softer on the inside.
- To make the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, scoop flour using cup measure then level
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons powdered milk (you can substitute this with warm milk, you will need less water if using milk)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- About 1 cup warm water for kneading
- Melted ghee (or olive oil) to stretch the dough (ghee gives a great texture and flavor).
- Cheese Filling
- 3-4 cups Nabulsi cheese, crumbled (You can use feta or Halloumi if you like but you need a reasonably hard and salty white cheese)
- ½ cup Italian parsley, minced (you can use fresh mint or fresh za’tar)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Black pepper
- Walnut Sweet Filling
- 2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, (you can use any sort of nut you wish)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ tablespoon orange blossom water
- ½ tablespoon rose water
- Sugar Syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ cup water
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
Mix flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and vegetable oil then start adding the warm water until you get a tender and slightly sticky dough. Kneading will take about 8 min on a stand-up mixer or 12 min by hand. you might need more depending on where you live and the kind of flour you are using). Form the dough into small golf-ball-sized balls. Place on a baking sheet that is very well greased with ghee or olive oil and pour some more (oil or ghee) over dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for few hours at least (or overnight). Prepare filling in the meantime. After you have your filling ready, use some of the ghee to brush a round tray (the surface that you will be working on). Take one piece of dough and using your hands, gently start spreading it as thinly and evenly as possible. Once that is done fold the upper side to the middle, then fold the opposite side to the middle as well. Spread your filling in a long line across the dough. Roll like a long tight rope making sure that it is tight enough to ensure no filling escapes. Then taking one end start rolling the rope towards the inside in a spiral shape. Put some more ghee on your baking sheet and place the done Sfeeha onto the baking sheet. Continue making the rest of your Sfeeha using ghee to keep it nice and moist.
Preheat oven to moderately hot 400°F and bake Sfeeha for 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature with a bowl of soup during winter or a salad and Greek yogurt in summer time.
Cheese Filling - Mix ingredients and your cheese filling is ready.
For the Walnut Sweet Filling - Mix all ingredients together and your filling is done.
For serving: Powdered sugar or sugar syrup.
For the Sugar Syrup - Mix sugar and water over high heat in a stainless steel pot. Don’t stir. Once it comes to a boil stir with a wooden spoon to ensure all sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Remove off heat and add orange blossom water if using.
Note: Once you have the sweet ones baked and hot pour some cold sugar syrup over them or let them cool off and dust with powdered sugar. I decided to make mine into poaches instead of spirals.
were delicious, full of flavor
. This challenge was something new to me so I really enjoyed baking them. They make great appetizers too. I have also mentioned the sweet filling recipe above which I am yet to try.
Thanks Manal for a fantastic challenge!