There is really nothing more comforting than bread products stuffed with cheese. I think that’s why so many different cultures do variations on this theme (see: ravioli, pierogi, cheese naan, etc.). Chewy, salty ingredients hidden in warm, billowy, carby-ness are the best.
Continuing my effort to make more things related to my heritage, I was drawn to the Syrian version of this cheese-stuffed bread goodness in Aromas of Aleppo. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these buttery cheese-filled sesame patties were to make and how tasty they were. The butter+APF+semolina makes a very flakey crust, and the muenster cheese (which is actually pretty similar to cheeses we experienced in Syria) adds a delicious saltiness. The sesame seeds also add extra flavor and make the patties look prettier. I think when I make this again, I will experiment with using za’atar on the exterior.
Buttery Cheese-Filled Sesame Patties
Adapted from Aromas of Aleppo. Yields approximately 20 patties.
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina
1/4 cup warm water
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 pound muenster cheese, grated
Mix together butter, all purpose flour, and semolina in a medium bowl. Gradually add the warm water until the dough comes together. Cover and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat the egg and mix into the cheese.
Take out 1 1/2 inch-ish size balls of the dough one at a time. Dip one side of the ball in the sesame seeds, and then flatten each ball using a rolling pin with the sesame-covered side on the bottom. (You won’t need extra flour on the surface or the rolling pin for this). Place one tablespoon of filling in the center, fold in half so that the sesame seeds show, and then pinch the edges to seal.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes until lightly browned. Eat immediately. I did not find that these re-heated well, so I recommend eating all of them (best recommendation of the day?) or eat the leftovers at room temperature.
If you would like to prepare in advance, you can freeze the formed, non-baked patties, and then bake them at 400F for 20 minutes before serving.
See? Pretty easy for something so tasty and impressive looking.