Blog-checking lines: The July Daring Bakers’ Challenge was brought to us by Manal from Manal’s Bites. She introduced us to an authentic Palestinian dish from Jaffa that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad. The “Yafawi Sfeeha” or also known as “Milwayeh” which means twisted, is crispy yet tender and full of flavor.
The Daring Bakers’ group often introduces us to baked goods that we might not ever have heard of otherwise and these Kafawi Sfeeha fit that description well.. The Yafawi Sfeeha, or Palestinian meat pies, were pretty interesting to make. A supple dough is made and allowed to rest, brushed with ghee (clarified butter) to keep it moist and tender. Each dough ball is then spread very, very thinly on a platter brushed with more ghee until it is practically translucent. The right and left sides of the circle are folded over and a line of spiced ground lamb (or cheese) filling is placed on the dough. The dough is then folded over the filling lengthwise and encased in a rope of dough. The dough rope is then coiled, creating a bun. I have to say that these were pretty fussy to make and I was over it about 3 or 4 buns into the process. I never did get really good at the shaping. However, it was fun to try making something I had never heard of before.
For the recipe and a peek at the Yafawi Sfeeha of the other Daring Bakers, check out the Daring Kitchen.
Have you ever heard of a Scuffin? It’s a fruit filled scone baked in a muffin cup. Genius! Most of the Frankenpastries, such as the popular Cronut (deep fried croissant doughnut), don’t really appeal to me and aren’t easily made at home. However, when I found an old newspaper article in my stash this morning that mentioned Scuffins, I was immediately inspired. Since I was just sitting around the house waiting for the air conditioner to be serviced, it seemed like a good use of my time to try it out.
I still had blueberries to use up from my recent brownie experiment, so I decided to make Blueberry Filled Scuffins. I also had some lemon chips (lemon flavored bits shaped like chocolate chips) that I wanted to use up so I threw those in as well. The chips lent a subtle lemon flavor to the Scuffin that went very well with the blueberry. I think lemon zest would work equally well though. I was thrilled with how they came out and I may never make a traditional scone again. It seems more tender and moist than a traditional scone, but with the nice crumb of a scone and the blueberry contrasts nicely. These are definitely company-worthy!
1 cup (113g/4oz) white whole wheat flour (or traditional whole wheat)
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
⅓ cup (64g/2.5oz) granulated sugar
6 Tbsp.(85g/3oz) cold unsalted butter
¾ cup(177g/6/25oz) heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
⅓ cup (62g/2oz) lemon chips (optional, or use white chocolate chips and lemon zest)
sparkling decorator sugar, optional
The day before or at least an hour before you want to make the scuffins, make the blueberry preserves. you can also use purchased jam.
Combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Over medium-high, boil the blueberries for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and a drop on a cold plate gels. Let the mixture cool to room temperature or chill it overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F/176C. Line 12 muffin cups with squares of parchment paper or grease the cups very well.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Combine the butter with the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture looks like crumbs.
Combine the heavy cream, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and then pour it into the flour mixture. Stir gently with a fork until the mixture just begins to hold together.
Stir in the lemon chips, if using. Stir just to combine, over-mixing will make scones tough.
Set aside ¼ of the dough. Divide the remaining dough up evenly into the muffin cups, gently pressing it down and making a slight well in the center. The dough will be a little sticky, so you may need to use a greased spoon or wet fingers to press the dough down.
Place 1 Tbsp. of blueberry preserves in the center of each dough-filled muffin cup. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the blueberry preserves.
Sprinkle with decorating sugar if desired.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the scuffins are lightly golden in color
Set the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove the scuffins from the pan to cool on a rack for a few more minutes.