For my 100th post, I just had to post a decidedly Arab recipe in honor of the region’s clouded magnificence. Cookies and brownies are delightful, but Arab recipes are just more…wholesome.These zaatar cheese snails are a variant of the sumac and mint cheese snails I made back in April, inspired by Arabic Bites, whose last post was in 2009, but still have great recipes in their archive.
Zaatar is the Middle Eastern generic name for a mixture base of dried thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. Different zaatar mixtures exist, some with additional spices, others with added citric acid, and so on.
There are medicinal benefits to zaatar, and the most desired benefit is the sharpening of the mind and memory. It has been believed to keep Alzheimer’s at bay. And it tastes good(!).
|White flour, whole flour, bran, sesame.|
|The cheese and the zaatar.|
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
900g white cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup zaatar
1 cup flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup bran
1/2 cup sesame
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
To make the dough, mix the flours, bran, salt, and sugar, in a stand-mixer bowl.
Whisk in a beaker the yeast in the water. Add the olive oil and whisk.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and knead on medium speed for about 4 minutes.
Shape into a ball, lightly oil, cover and let rise for 30 minutes to an hour.
To make the filling, simply mix all the filling ingredients together, set aside.
To make the milk glaze, simply put the milk and olive oil in a cup and set aside.
To assemble, preheat oven to 400°F.
Divide the dough into 16 balls.
Roll each ball thinly into a long oval (check pictures in cheese halazon recipe).
Place 2 tablespoons of the filling, and seal shut by rolling like a rod or snake (as in picture).
Start rolling the rod onto itself like a snail (as in picture).
Place on a baking sheet and brush with the milk glaze.
Bake for 20 minutes until slightly golden colored.