When I tried logging into my blogger account today, I actually needed a minute to remember my password. Either my memory is really failing me, or its been that long since I wrote a post. I know I enjoy cooking / baking and blogging, but some somehow the last couple of months, I just haven't been able to get myself to blog.
I am a part of this group called 'We knead to bake', started by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen where we are given a new bread recipe every month. The fact that I might be out of that group if I skipped another month of baking made me finally get down to baking and posting. I'm glad there is some such rule, otherwise knowing me, I wouldn't get beyond the first month.
This month's recipe was Komaj, a Persian bread stuffed with dates. It involves 3 rises of the dough and sounded like a lot of work, but its actually quite simple. The stuffing is a lovely combination of dates, butter and cardamom. The dough also has a lot of Indian spices like turmeric and cumin. I was a bit skeptical about the combination of these very different flavours, but my love for dates made me try this and I'm glad I did !
Have it as soon as you bake it and its wonderfully soft and delicious. The dates used are the dehydrated ones, but once baked, they almost melt in your mouth
Thanks Aparna for introducing us to this lovely bread. This bread is being Yeastspotted !
Komaj | Persian bread stuffed with dates
What you need -
1 tsp instant yeast
1/8 cup warm water
3 3/4 cups APF / maida
2 1/2 tsp toasted and crushed cumin seeds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (optional)
2/3 cups warm milk + 2 tbsp
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
12 seedless dried dates, chopped
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
1 - 2 tbsp milk for brushing the dough
What you do with it -
If you use active dried yeast, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and keep it aside for 10 minutes till it froths up a little
I used instant yeast, so skipped this step and added it straight to the flour
Put the flour, 2 tsp of the crushed cumin, sugar, turmeric and salt in the bowl of your food processor and run a couple of times to mix. Then add the yeast, water and the egg and run the processor again, till it is incorporated.
Now add the milk and olive oil, and knead until you have a smooth and pliable dough that’s not sticky. I kneaded a little more milk that mentioned in her recipe. So added 2 tbsp of milk.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat the dough and then cover with a damp cloth and let it rise till it has doubled (took me about 45 mins)
When the dough has risen, deflate it and then shape into a round. Put it back in the bowl for a second rise till it has doubled (another 45 mins).
Prepare the filling by mixing together the chopped dates, soft butter and cardamom together in a bowl.
Divide the dough in to 4 equal portions, and divide each in half so you have 8 portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll each one out into a rectangle that is about between 1/4" thick. I used a cookie cutter with a flower shaped edge that made the komaj look like a little tart !
Press it down lightly to make an impression on one half of the rectangle and add a tsp of the filling there
Brush with a little water over the dough and then fold over to encase the filling completely. Use the same cookie cutter and cut the dough. Press at the edges so the filling doesn't pop out during baking
Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. I got about 14 komaj since my cookie cutter was a little small.
Place these buns on a lightly greased baking tray leaving space between them because they will puff up on baking. Let them sit for about 15 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Then brush them with a little milk / egg wash and sprinkle the remaining ½ tsp of crushed cumin on top, pressing it down a little with your fingers
Bake the Komaj at 200C (400F) for about 8 to 10 minutes
Allow them to cool slightly and serve with a cup of tea !