Semolina rolls with date

August 26, 2022  •  Category: ,

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 date

Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern August 26, 2022 Sweet Pastries, Pastries/Breads, sweet rolls, lebanese food, date paste, sweet pastries, 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)




  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Beat an egg with a fork and apply an egg wash on each roll before sprinkling with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and firm and golden. Cool a bit and serve.

Recipe Notes

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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6 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. marlene says:

    I was doing the dishes while listening to this very engaging discussion about food on a podcast called afikra عفكرة and I thought I should share it with you. The guest Dima adra is very passionate about lebanese food and just published her first cookbook mama ghannouj . I hope you’ll find it as fun and informative as I did !

  2. Sonam says:

    I love eating but I hate cooking. You solved my both problems. This is easy and looks yummy. Thanks for it!

  3. Shalini Singh says:

    Excellent cooking skills combined with art!

  4. SanyaKhanna says:

    Semolina rolls with date are a delicious and versatile sweet pastry. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or as a snack. They are also a popular dessert, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Semolina rolls are made with a dough of semolina flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, milk, eggs, and sugar. The dough is rolled out and filled with a date paste, which is made with pitted dates, sugar, and water. The rolls are then baked until golden brown.

    Semolina rolls with date are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and magnesium.

    Here is a brief comment on some of the key characteristics of semolina rolls with date:

    Taste: Semolina rolls with date have a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. The date filling is sweet and sticky, with a rich caramel-like taste.
    Texture: Semolina rolls have a soft and slightly chewy texture. The date filling is thick and gooey.
    Appearance: Semolina rolls are typically shaped into crescent rolls or buns. They are often dusted with sesame seeds before baking.
    Popularity: Semolina rolls with date are a popular pastry in the Middle East and North Africa. They are also becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world.
    Overall, semolina rolls with date are a delicious and versatile sweet pastry that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

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