Yafawi Sfeeha

Feta and spinach, or zucchini and halloumi – two delicious savoury fillings for these little hand pies.

yafawi sfeeha final

Yafawi Sfeeha are little coiled hand pies, filled with all sorts of lovely things.  The pastry is a dream to work with, and the possibilities are endless for filling them. They make a fantastic make-ahead dinner, are perfect for a picnic, or just a snack on the go. And what could be cuter than these little coils of goodness?!

Each filling recipe makes enough for one full batch of pastries
Makes: 16 pieces
Dough: 15 minutes active, several hours or overnight resting
Filling: 10 minutes for the feta & spinach, 2 hours for the zucchini & halloumi (incl. cooling)
Assembly: about 45 minutes
Baking: 20 – 25 minutes

For the dough

420g (3 cups scooped and scraped) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
45ml (3 Tbsp) olive oil
240ml (1 cup) warm milk
about 120ml (1/2 cup) additional olive oil for working the dough

Feta & spinach filling

500g (18 oz) feta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
100g (3 1/2 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 Tbsp finely minced flat-leaf parsley
pinch nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper

Zucchini & halloumi filling

500g (18 oz) zucchini, grated
1 medium brown onion, finely sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
350g (12 oz) halloumi, grated
freshly ground black pepper

For assembling

2 Tbsp sesame seeds for sprinkling

To make the dough

Mix flour, salt, sugar and vegetable oil then start adding the warm milk until you get a tender and slightly sticky dough. Kneading will take about 8 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or 12 minutes by hand.

Form the dough into 16 balls. Place on a baking sheet that is very well greased with olive oil and liberally spread more oil over dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for a few hours or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Feta & spinach filling

Crumble the feta into a bowl, mix in the beaten egg, then mix in the spinach, parsley, nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Zucchini & halloumi filling

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the grated zucchini by handfuls until it is all incorporated. Season well with freshly ground black pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini has cooked down and the liquid has been cooked off. Set aside to cool completely.

Combine zucchini with grated halloumi in a large bowl.

Assembly & Baking

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F / gas mark 6) and oil a large rimmed baking sheet.

Brush a round tray liberally with olive oil (this will be your work surface).

Take one piece of dough and, using well oiled hands, gently spread it out thinly and evenly into as large a circle as possible, 20 – 25cm (8 – 10″) in diameter. I found the best way to do this to avoid getting holes in the dough was to use the palm of my hand to flatten the ball out, then push gently out with the heel of my hand as I rotated the tray with my other hand. Once it is spread out, fold the upper edge to the centre then fold the opposite edge to the centre to meet it.

Spread about one heaped tablespoon of the filling (you can divide it in the bowl into 16 portions first, to make it easier to judge) in a long sausage along the length of the dough, leaving a little space at the ends for sealing.

Roll into a long tight rope, making sure that it is tight enough to ensure no filling escapes. I found the easiest way to do this was to lift one side of the dough and stretch it over the filling, then lift the other side and stretch it over the top, then roll the whole thing back and forth to even it out and help seal the seam. Seal the ends by pinching closed. Start at one end and roll the dough into a coil.

Place the coiled Sfeeha onto the baking sheet. Continue making the rest of your Sfeeha using oil to keep them nice and moist.

Brush with oil again, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in centre of oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve hot or at room temperature.


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8 Responses to Yafawi Sfeeha

  1. What gorgeous recipes Rachel and well done on completing this challenge too! Love your combination and thanks for inspiring me too!

  2. Susan says:

    Love your photo. Good job – they look great!

  3. Meredith says:

    They look lovely!! Great job. 🙂

  4. Katka says:

    They look delicious! I would love to try the zucchini version, it´s my favourite vegetable. I have tried the sweet filling, walnuts and cinnamon, also great – you can check it here http://www.navidlicku.com/2015/07/the-daring-bakers-yafawi-sfeeha.html 🙂

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