Fatayer are available all around the bakeries in Saudi Arabia. They are very easy to make and can be filled with a variety of combinations like cottage cheese and mint/parsley, minced meat and chopped onions, chicken or any leftover fillings. I filled these with a saucy chicken filling for an iftar party. And as I didn’t have much time on hand after they were done so I just clicked this one picture after I got them out of the oven.
There are many variations to the recipe of the dough that can be used for making these cuties – dough with oil, dough with eggs, dough with eggs and oil. This particular recipe I got from facebook and it uses yogurt and no eggs. The result is a soft, pliable dough which when baked comes out soft and fluffy. All you have to do is mix the dry ingredients together
Knead into a soft dough and cover the bowl with a cling foil or cloth. Let the dough rise (may take half an hour or more depending on the climate). This one’s before fermentation in case you are wondering.
Now comes the fun part 🙂 You can just go for small balls of dough filled with your favourite filling or you can just play around and make the dough in different shapes for baking.I did mine in two ways. The first one is ti roll out a circle with a rolling pin and cut slices just like a pizza, fill the broad part with the filling and roll it up like a crescent roll:
Another way is to roll a big rectangle out of the dough and cut lengthwise. Fill the middle with the filling like so:
Fold it up from both the sides:
Cut out bite-sized pieces:
Brush up your fatayer with an egg wash (just beat an egg in a small ball and mix in some milk or water with it). This will give your fatayer a nice golden-brown colour. Sprinkle some sesame seeds/onion seeds if you want. I had forgotten to add in some shredded mozzarella cheese with my chicken filling so I baked my fatayer for 5 minutes then took them out again and shredded the cheese on them with my small, handy shredder and popped them again in the oven. The baking hardly takes 15 minutes. And you get a heavenly smell of baked bread in your kitchen for a few hours 🙂
Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients for the dough:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered milk
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon warm water
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
a good pinch of sugar
Preparing the dough:
In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and warm water and keep aside for 10 minutes till the yeast starts to bloom in the water. (I usually skip this step as instant yeast doesn’t require proofing). Add all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (make sure if you haven’t proofed the yeast, add the sugar and yeast with the dry ingredients). Mix well. Add in the wet ingredients. Knead till the dough is soft and doesn’t stick. You won’t need any water for kneading as there is a lot of yogurt but if you think the dough is dry just wet your hands with water and knead it. It will help to make the dough more elastic if you throw the dough in the bowl for at least 10-15 times. Cover the bowl with a cloth or with cling film and let it rise for an hour or so.
Make desired shapes and fill with your favourite filling. Brush with an egg wash. Don’t forget the egg wash as it is the thing that is responsible for the lovely golden-brown colour. Line in a non-stick baking tray. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
Note: The fateyer are usually savoury but if you feel like you can also fill them with sweet fillings.
Savoury Chicken Filling
Cut two breast pieces into small cubes. Heat a little oil in a saucepan. Add in the chicken pieces and a teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste. Fry a little. Add in a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of crushed chilli paste, half teaspoon of vinegar, a pinch of sugar, crushed black pepper and 2 teaspoons of ketchup. Mix all together and let simmer with lid on for a few minutes. When the chicken is almost done and it won’t take more than 15 minutes add in some chopped green bell peppers. Mix and simmer for 5 minutes. This filling goes well in sandwiches as well. You can fill a bun with the filling and grill a slice of cheddar cheese on top. Yummy! 🙂