After our in-depth review of Leah Koenig’s The Jewish Cookbook, we’ve shared two great recipe from the book so far; Moroccan Flaky Chicken and Almond Pie and Yeasted Pumpkin Bread. Today, we share our third and final recipe from this comprehensive book, Cheese Sambusak.
These gorgeous individual pastries are perfect for all occasions, from picnics to lunch boxes, and at any time of the day.
For the dough:
- 120 ml (½ cup/ 4 fl oz) vegetable oil
- 120 ml (½ cup/ 4 fl oz) water
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp sea (kosher) salt
- 280-350 g (2½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
For the filling:
- 225 g (8 oz) crumbled feta cheese
- 115 g (4 o) parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp onion powder, optional
- ¼ tsp sea (kosher) salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Flour, for dusting
- Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- Sesame seeds for topping, optional
Make the dough:
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, water, egg, and salt until well combined and foamy.
Stir in the flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough forms (you might not use the full 350 g).
Form the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap (cling film), and let sit at room temperature while making the filling.
Make the filling:
In a food processor, combine the feta, parmesan, eggs, onion powder (if using), salt, and pepper, and pulse until a thick paste forms.
Assemble the turnovers:
Pinch off a walnut-size piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a 4-inch (10 cm) round. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling into the middle of the round. Fold one side of the round over to the other to make a half-moon, pinching it tightly to seal the filling inside. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Bake the sambusak:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/ Gas Mark 4).
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and dived the turnovers between them. Brush the tops of the turnovers with a little egg wash (you might not use all of it) and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using).
Bake until golden brown, 30–35 minutes.
Set the baking sheets on wire racks to cool.
Alternatively, fry the sambusak:
Line a large plate with two layers of paper towel.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches (5 cm) vegetable oil over medium heat. Gently slip the turnovers into the hot oil in batches of 4 or 5 and fry until golden brown, flipping once halfway through, 4–5 minutes.
Transfer the fried sambusak to the paper towels to drain.
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The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig retails at £35. Recipe image courtesy of Phaidon Press.