fancy fataayer bil jibneh

Ehm…

I-L-O-V-E-F-A-T-A-A-Y-E-R!

If it helps to read it like this, then: I LOVE FATAAYER! I can’t explain to you how much I love this fat-full, carb-full, little delight. Back home in Syria, on the days you feel like it, you wake up, wash up, wear your clothes and head down to the “bakery” and order x-amount of pieces of “fataayer”. The whole ritual is so appeasing; the crispy fresh air and the “exercise” you get completely remove any guilty conscious feelings you may have about eating haloumi cheese and white dough first thing in the morning, with a huge cuppa tea and three sugars (if not four, that is).

I must say, Arabs sure have good taste. Here Down Under, I’ve tried making this little pastry a few times, with every attempt bringing me closer to the ultimate fataayer “pie”. By ultimate, I must admit, I mean replica to the ones you get from the bakeries. And this might sound a bit silly, but why I’m stressing about it so much is because bakeries in Syria don’t do these pies in ovens, the do them in open fire ovens (like oo-la-la).

Below, so far, is the best recipe I’ve made. It replicates the original eye-shaped pies you get, and tastes almost like them. Like 90% almost. Only these ones that I’ve made are a mini version of the palm-sized pies you get. Perfect for hors d’Oeuvres parties.

Yields: 20

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/3 cup + 1/8 cup warm water

1/8 cup plain yoghurt

1/8 tsp instant dry yeast

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

10 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 3/4 cup finely grated haloumi cheese

 

Method:

Place the cheese and parsley into a bowl and mix to combine.

Add flour, yoghurt, water, oil, sugar, salt and yeast into another bowl and knead for a minimum of 5 minutes to form a pliable dough.

Set aside to rise for 40 minutes.

Lightly grease two baking trays and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Break the dough into golf-sized pieces and roll into thin oblongs.

Place a levelled tablespoon of the haloumi cheese along the centre of oblong.

Fold over the long sides and pinch the two ends to form an eye shape.

Press down firmly (on the whole pie) with the palm of your hand, then transfer onto a baking tray.

Repeat this until the dough and mixture is finished.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges become golden.

Set aside to cool slightly before serving.

Devour!

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37 thoughts on “fancy fataayer bil jibneh

  1. Oh damn that looks good. I think pastry things with cheese have got to be my favourite things in the world. Ok – not really the healthiest thing to have an obsession with but they’re just so good.

    I can’t get halloumi here (grr, stupid France), so I’d have to try something like cheddar or feta. Wouldn’t be quite the same but hopefully I could knock something up worthy of your awesome recipe! Thanks for sharing Fati :)

  2. YOU DID IT! Thanks for coming to Cast Party Wednesday! I hope you come back next week. —Sheryl—

  3. Hi Sheryl, thanks! Will be back next week.. I really like the idea of collection sites like yours, I end up bookmarking 100s of recipes myself.. :)
    Thanks everyone for popping in and leaving a comment. I made these again today and there were a big hit. Just note the recipe change (there was a typo in the original post) so don’t make it until you re-write it, if you have already. It’s such a shame haloumi isn’t readily available, it’s such a deliciously salty cheese! :D
    Just yesterday I tried (for the first time ever) a cheese and silver beet pide from the local butchery (he was selling them warm and fresh in packs) and I can say it’s got the same principle, but the taste isn’t quite the same :)

  4. Oh Wow! I love those fattayer!! they are my favorite. I will have to try your recipie. I stumbled across your blog by chance,and can’t get enough of all those delicious recipes that remind me of home. I am from Jordan (living in the U.S.) and I am drooling over your recipes at the moment! :)

  5. Hi I love fatayer and i was so excited to make this but im not sure if it’s all right. Has anyone else followed the recipe and had success? It was too much flour and the ingredients wouldnt come together at all. I had to add 1/4 cup water and 1/8 cup extra yogurt just to get a dough. To not be all flour then it never rised. I followed the recipe exactly so im not sure what happened. Im going to to bake these up cause they looked so good in the picture but im not sure what went wrong.

    • Hi Kristy,
      I’m sorry to hear this happened with you… I do remember with this recipe that I had a typo with the flour when I did type it up, and I thought I had fixed it :S If you do try to do this again, do it with only 1 1/4 cup of flour and see how it turns out, otherwise you can wait for me to report back after I do up the dough this weekend and let you know they proper measurements.. I’m very sorry, I do hope you try it again, because it’s a really wonderful little treat :)

  6. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I am looking forward to trying it. Do you have an update on the measurements? Also, I have an electric oven. Do you think this will make a difference. I thank you for your kindness and can’t wait to try it … :)

    • Awh I’m so sorry I haven’t had the time to update the recipe, because I haven’t had the time to bake :S but I’m sure it’s around the 1 1/4 cup mark, it’s always better to add more flour until the dough comes together nicely than to have too much.
      Nevertheless, I’ll try my best to do it this weekend and report back so you can try it out. To be honest I’m not sure how to work electric ovens, you might need to do a small batch to try it out first :)

  7. My husband needs to get me yeast and haloumi cheese so I can try this!!! When I came to Jordan I was gutted because they didn’t have “normal” bread (the loaf’s, kingsmill, hovis, warburtons- mmm warburtons) available in every shop, but then I discovered ARABIC BREAD!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! I need to try this. These plus za’tar for breakfast mmmmmm who cares about the calories, you have the rest of the day to burn it off.

    • Hahaha, so true! :)
      Hope the updated recipe works well for you :) Let me know how you go with this if you end up getting your yeast <3

  8. Okay so it’s taken me way too long to make these so I started today, the dough was perfect, though I didn’t really measure exactly how much water I gave and just eye-balled it. I used arabic white cheese (the one with the black seeds)- just because it was what I had and it’s just delicious: ) I’m waiting for them to get out of the oven now, so will let you know how they are when I’m done: ) thanks for the recipe xxx

  9. Fati Habibti. You have done it again! :-) Is this recipe something similar to cheese manageesh?( spelling unsure ) I love it, they used to have it at the bakaries in Dubai. Please post more Arabic recipes for us westerners. Yallah :-) Lots of love from South Africa Marlo

  10. I LOVE Fataayer bil jibneh too!! :) I live in Toronto and by our old place there was a Lebanese bakery and that was my favorite thing to get there. Ever since we moved I have hardly had it….it’s a bit of a drive. I would love to make it at home. Can I substitute akkawi cheese for the halloumi? I thought it used akkawi and I saw some today at a grocery store and picked it up.

    • I’m sure you could. I’ve had someone suggest a mix of mozzarella and haloumi which I tried recently and was reasonably nice. We don’t have akkawi cheese here so I use haloumi :)
      All the best on your fataayer endeavours!

  11. OMG Fati m becoming a fan of ur recipes…:) The fataayers turned out to be so so yummy…it was such a big hit, thnks for posting such wonderful recipes….!!!!

  12. Oh it wud be a pleasure to have u over for tea…only if u r ready to travel from Austrailia to Qatar :)

  13. Fati it was really great ……..recipy is awsum i hv bn to syria its really paradise …i used whole wheat and kiri kiri cubes instd of halomi n dill for parcley thnxx a lot again

  14. This is a great and easy recipe and also not costly….. I love itt they were soft and lovely. The result was the same as of bakery ones. Do try it guysssss

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