Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sfiha

These delicious, exotic sfiha are traditional in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. They make perfect appetizers or entrees.

SERVES 4 -9 , 9 mini pizzas

Ingredients:

Dough
  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint or oregano (optional) or anise, seeds. (optional)
  • 2 egg whites
Filling
  • 1-2 onions, finely chopped and drained of juices
  • 1 chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 18 ounces ground lamb or beef
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or chopped walnuts)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
Preparation:
  1. Dough:
  2. Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in 1/2 cup of the water, leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until it begins to froth.
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the olive oil. Add the yeast mixture and slowly add enough of the remaining water to hold the dough together in a ball.
  4. Knead vigorously for about 10 minutes until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl and becomes smooth and elastic. Towards the end of the kneading, add the flavorings, if desired.
  5. Pour a small amount (1/2 tablespoon) of olive oil in the bowl and roll the dough in it to grease it over.
  6. Leave in a warm area for 1-1/2 - 2 hours. (should be doubled in size).
  7. Cut the dough into 9 pieces and roll each out thinly on a flat floured surface. Roll out to 7 inch circles.
  8. Place the rounds on oiled baking sheets and brush with egg whites. Cook in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, turn over and brush the other side with egg whites. cook for another 8 minutes.
  9. Let them cool enough to handle.
  10. Mix the filling ingredients together and work with your hands into a soft paste. Take even lumps of the mixture and spread thickly over each pastry round.
  11. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.

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