Pretty rings of homemade pastry filled with juicy dates, honey and orange blossom water, brushed with a tangy sugar syrup.
- 500 g pitted medjool dates
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp butter
- 50 g (⅓ cup) toasted sesame seeds
- 220 g (1 cup) sugar
- 1 tsp orange blossom water
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 kg white strong (00) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1½ tsp fine salt
- 2 tbsp dried yeast
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp honey
- 550-650 ml warm water
- 150 ml vegetable oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe needs to be started 1 day in advance.
Resting time: 1 hour
- Place the dates, honey, orange blossom water, cinnamon and butter into a food processor and mix until you have a smooth texture. If you prefer a softer texture, add a little water. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight as it's easier to use after 1–2 days.
- Meanwhile, for the syrup, place the sugar and 125 ml (½ cup) water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, stir in the orange blossom water and lemon juice. Stand until cool, then refrigerate until needed. As it rests, it will develop a darker colour.
- For the dough, place all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and combine on low speed. Combine the honey with 125 ml (½ cup) of the warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the honey mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. With the motor on low speed, gradually add enough of the remaining warm water to form a smooth, soft dough. Alternatively, you can do this by hand. Shape the dough into a loose ball, place back into the bowl, cover and stand in a warm place for 20 minutes or until risen.
- Preheat the oven to 250˚C.
- Turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 100 g portions. Shape the portions into balls, place on a lightly floured tray, cover and stand for another 15–20 minutes (freezer bags and a tablecloth are great for covering the dough).
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into ovals about 25 cm long and 15 cm wide. Shape about 60 g of date paste into log and place it along one long side of the ovals. Roll the dough over the date filling and keep rolling until covered. Trim off any extra dough from the end and sides. Join the two ends together to make a ring. Using a knife, make little cuts around the bottom edge of the dough ring, then place on a lined baking tray. Brush the dough rings all over with the sugar syrup and sprinkle sesame seeds.
- Stand for 10-15 minutes, then bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
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