Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beirut Tahini Swirls

A friend of mine lent me this beautiful cookbook.  At first glance, you kind of wonder - bread?  But truly bread is a connector in cultures globally.  Every culture it seems has some sort of take on bread and home baking.  I am now on the look to get this book for myself.
This bread was so tasty for my family (though my friend loves it, she did tell me that her family doesn't like it as much, I think you have to love tahini to love this bread). 

The authors found this bread while wandering around in Beirut.  It's sweet, but not too sweet.  Well worth a try.

1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (about)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup sugar

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.  Stir in 1 cup of the flour, then add the sugar and oil and stir in.  Incorporate a second cup of flour, then turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 2-3 hours, until doubled in volume. 

Mix the tahini and sugar together and stir until smooth, set aside.

Place a baking stone (or baking sheet) on the middle oven rack and heat the oven to 375*.

Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Work 3 at a time, keeping the others covered.  Flatten each out on a lightly floured surface, then roll each out to a rectangle about 5x10 inches.  Spread 2 1/2 tbsp of filling mixture on top.  Roll up each rectangle from the long side to a cylinder, which will stretch as you roll to about 20 inches long.  Anchor one end as you coil the rest around  (like you are making a snail shell).  Tuck the end in on itself.  Flatten with the palm of your hand, set aside, covered while you fill and shape the other rectangles.

Return to the first coil and roll out gently with a rolling pin.  Roll the other 2 out a little, then return to the first, continue until they are thin, each about 6 ir 7 inches in diameter.

Place the breads on the hot baking stone (or baking sheets) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and flaky.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Shape and bake the remaining 3 pieces of dough while the first 3 are baking.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Chef E said...

Oh, I have the ingredients for these...how much sugar, I do not see that part on the recipe? I am in the mood to make some bread tonight, and this looks great!

Kristen said...

Sorry about that, it's 2 tsp sugar, I fixed it up on the post. Hope you enjoy it :o)

Lara said...

I just so happen to have a jar of tahini gathering dust up in my cupboard. I've had grand intentions on making my own hummus with it, but I think my family would love this fun looking bread even more.