Chef Ramzi in his The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon observes that Lebanon has no tradition of curing meat; meat curing was introduced to us by the Armenians who settled in the country and brought their traditions with them. Sujuk is one example and while the best sujuk can be found in certain Armenian outlets, making it the authentic way is a secret that is not easily obtained.
A commercial grade of sujuk is available in Middle-Eastern stores. Here it can be replaced by any sausage of your choice, preferably one with a lot of paprika or a bit on the spicy side of things.
For the dough:
- 2 cups of bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 1/2 cup of whole-wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons of dry instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 3/4 cup of warm water (110F)
- 1 tablespoon of oil to grease the bowl
For the filling:
- 1 package of string cheese
- 1 cup of chopped parsley
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 sujuk sausage
- 1/4 cup of red pepper paste
- 1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water (to give a shine to the pastry)
- 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds
- Place the yeast in a small bowl; add the sugar and 2 ounces of warm water and stir until combined; place in an enclosed space and let the yeast bubble up. Meanwhile, place the flours, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Mix to combine. While the machine is running, add the oil in a thin stream and process (or mix) until the mixture has absorbed the oil. Add the proofed yeast mixture and about 1/2 cup more warm water and process until the dough is compact and leaves the sides of the bowl. If needed, add a little more water. The dough should be firm and not sticky. Transfer to a work surface, knead a few seconds and place in a greased bowl, turning it around until the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and place it in an enclosed and warm place for 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
- Filling: Cut the sujuk sausage in 20 pieces of equal size. Take the string cheese and shred it in the bowl of a food processor. Add the eggs and parsley and combine. Transfer to a bowl. Place the cheese, sujuk and red pepper paste nearby to assemble the beoregs.
- When the dough has risen, transfer to the work surface and deflate the gas bubbles by rolling it out into a large circle, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter and place a sausage on each circle; dab a bit of red pepper paste on the sausage. Top with a generous tablespoon of cheese mixture. Pinch the ends to form a boat and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- When all the beoregs have been assembled, brush them with the egg yolk and sprinkle them with some sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 10 minutes. Serve.
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