The July Daring Bakers’ Challenge was brought to us by Manal from Manal’s Bites. She introduced us to an authentic Palestinian dish from Java that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad. The Yafawi Sfeeha, also known as Milwayeh, which means twisted, is crispy yet tender and full of flavor.

This dish will need some planning ahead as the dough needs to rest overnight if possible but once you start working, it will take a couple of hours from start to finish depending on the amount you are making. I used canned mutton meat for my sfeeha though I was planning to make the sweet nut-filled version first.

YAFAWI SFEEHA

Ingredients:

For the dough

3 cups (750 ml) (420 gm) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) kitchen salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) sugar

3 tablespoons (45 ml) powdered milk

3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil

About 1 cup (250 ml) warm water, for kneading

Melted ghee (or olive oil), to stretch the dough

For the Meat Filling

1 pound (500 grams) ground meat

1 medium onion, minced

½ teaspoon kitchen salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Middle Eastern 7 spice blend

1 teaspoon sumac spice

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

½ cup (60 gm) toasted pine nuts

Method:

  • Mix flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and vegetable oil, then add the warm water to form a dough.
  • Combine till it forms a slightly sticky dough. Kneading will take about 8 mins in a stand-up mixer.

  • If kneading by hand, it will take approximately 12 mins. Form the dough into small golf-sized balls.
  • Place on a baking sheet that is well greased with ghee or olive oil and pour some more over dough.

  • Cover and let rest at room temperature for few hours or overnight. Prepare filling in the meantime.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook meat until no longer pink and water has evaporated, add onion.

  • Cook till it becomes tender (around 3 minutes). Season mixture and add spices. Remove from heat.
  • It will be very fragrant now. Add sumaq and pomegranate molasses. Add toasted pine nuts if using.

  • Let the filling cool completely. After the filling is ready, use some of the ghee to brush a round tray.
  • Take one piece of dough and using hands, gently start spreading it as thinly and evenly as possible.

  • Once that is done fold the upper side to the middle then fold the opposite side to the middle as well.
  • Spread filling in a long line across the dough. Roll like a long tight rope to ensure no filling escapes.

  • Start rolling the rope towards the inside as spiral shape, tucking the free end underneath the spiral.
  • Put some more ghee on your baking sheet and place the done sfeeha onto the greased baking sheet.

  • Continue shaping and filling remaining sfeeha using more ghee to keep them moist before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and bake sfeeha for 15 to 20 minutes till golden brown.

  • Serve hot or at room temperature with a bowl of soup during winter or a salad and Greek yogurt.
  • Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and reheat them a bit when serving. Serves 8-10.

Daring Bakers July Challenge