Egyptian Rustic Bread
Here in Egypt, you will find at the temple’s walls, pictures of the Ancient Egyptians gifting this bread to their Gods. Because this bread was made of precious ingredients to them. Like flour, butter and golden honey. They used to put it with the dead people to give them energy in the other life, according to their faith in resurrection.
It is more like a layered pastry than bread. I love it a lot but I have never tried to make it because the traditional way was very difficult to me. Kneading the dough for an hour with my hand, let it set for a night and putting butter between layers of very thin dough isn’t really my favorite type of baking. Until one day my sister came in a visit and told me “let’s make some feteer “(this is the bread’s name in Arabic). I said “Are you kidding? You don’t know how to boil an egg”. Then she showed me this magical, much easier recipe. I was surprised that it came out better than the original.
Ok let’s get started. And, if we can do it. So can you too.
4 cup all purpose flour.
2 tablespoon sugar.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1 to 1 1/4 cup warm water.
3/4 cup ghee in room temperature (you can use butter instead)
Vegetable oil (I use sun flower oil)
- Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and add 1 cup of warm water. Beat until the dough forms into a ball and the texture is a little bit sticky. If you feel that the dough is dry add water gradually and if the dough is sticky, add additional flour. Don’t have a stand mixer like me? No problems roll up your sleeves and use the old fashioned way. You can knead this dough by hand for 10 minutes and it will give you the same result.
- Lightly oil another bowl add the dough and brush it with oil too , cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes ( letting the dough rest is very important .it will make the dough easier to work with and cause the cooked bread to be more tender.)
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With your rolling pin, try to flatten the dough into a big square. Now it is time to grab the ghee (or butter) and it must be in the room temperature. Spread it to cover the dough.
- Roll the dough with butter inside to make a roll (like Swiss roll) making sure to put the open end in the bottom.
- Divide the dough roll into 6 equal pieces. Lightly oil the pieces like we did before. Cover it with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes, but in the fridge this time. (Clean up, check your facebook, twitter, or instagram account and …. the 30 minutes is gone).
- Take a piece of dough. flatten it with the rolling pin making it a rectangle then fold it like an envelope ( the right side to the middle the left side to the middle the top to the center then the bottom voila you did it).
- Hold the envelop in your hand making it a ball by gathering all the edges and pushing them inside.
- Made all your 6 balls? … Great, oil them lightly and cover with plastic wrap. Put them back into the fridge for another 30 minutes (this is the last one I promise).
- Now it is time for cooking. There’re 3 secrets here:
- First one: press the dough ball with your hand (not with the rolling pin) until it becomes nicely rounded circle.
- The second one: use a hot non sticking pan. Oil it very lightly then put the dough and reduce the heat. Cook it in low heat and flip it when the bottom becomes golden.
- The third one: cover the bread once you take it out of the pan to stay tender.
- Repeat these steps with the remaining 5 balls of the dough. Also you can bake it in the oven by putting them on a hot sheet at 180 degree and flip them when the bottom becomes golden.
- Enjoy eating it warm with cheese, jam, and my favorite honey and butter.
Recipe shared by Sara, Egypt.