I guess I must be getting good in baking (or over confident) but I made this without measuring anything, and it worked fine. Just to show that this is a very easy roll despite the somewhat unusual ingredients. I had made it years ago with a brioche dough. I also made some Armenian mini rolls with date, called chorek. These are super popular in Lebanon and usually sold in cellophane bags in the Middle-Eastern groceries in the US as well. These particular rolls are sold in bakeries in Lebanon but made with a white flour so they come out enormous and cottony.
Semolina rolls with dateJoumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern August 26, 2022 Sweet Pastries, Pastries/Breads, lebanese food, date paste, sweet pastries, sweet rolls, street food,
12 rolls servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Passive Time: 24 hours
1 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 cup gluten flour (optional, it just adds more protein)
3/4 cup semolina flour (fine grade)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
3/4 tsp mahlab (optional)
3 oz melted butter or ghee or oil (I used ghee)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
6 oz warm milk (whole)
toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (optional, but recommended)
1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash
Cornstarch (when making the rolls)
Filling: 1 to 1 1/4 cup date paste (see note)
- Mix the all-purpose flour, salt, gluten flour (if using), semolina flour and sugar (if adding). In a small bowl, pour the warm milk, and add the sugar and yeast. Mix well, and cover for about 5-10 minutes in a warm place till the mixture bubbles-up. Add the yeast mixture to the flour, then the melted butter or ghee or oil and the eggs. Mix well until the dough forms (even if it is moist). If the dough is too moist, add some more semolina flour and start kneading it on the counter a bit until it is firm. Transfer to a plastic ziploc bag or a bowl, cover, and let it rise for several hours. I left it alone in the oven all night.
- Transfer the dough to a counter sprinkled with cornstarch and form balls of about 75g each (about 2 ounces), just as an attempt to make the rolls all the same size. Then, flatten the rolls (I did it with my hands, as my rolling pin is in storage, I am moving). Place a generous tablespoon of date paste in the middle, and enclose it by pinching the dough firmly. Place the stuffed balls (seam side on the pan), smooth side up, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover and let them rise about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Using kitchen shears, cut a half inch slit at one inch intervals all around the balls. If the balls have risen in an oblong shape, reshape them first as a round as much as possible, and cut the slits.
- Beat an egg with a fork and apply an egg wash on each roll before sprinkling with sesame seeds.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and firm and golden. Cool a bit and serve.
The date paste can be the same one used in the maamoul recipe. It is dates plumped up in water or juice, pureed with a little bit of ghee or butter and seasoned with a touch of Mexican vanilla or orange blossom water or rose water.
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