Batates (Oven Potato Stew)
- 4 cups (1 1/4 lb/625 g} all
purpose (plain) flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (5 fl oz/160 ml) milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) warm
water (110 F/ 43 C)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g} sesame
Sift together the flour and salt into a large bowl. In a
saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk. Remove from the
heat, add the butter and let cool to lukewarm.
While the milk is cooling, in a small bowl dissolve the
yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand until
bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Add the yeast mixture to the cooled milk. Then gradually
add the milk mixture to the flour, stirring with a wooden
spoon until a soft dough forms that does not stick to the
sides of the bowl. Then, using an electric mixer fitted
with the dough hook, knead the dough until it is smooth
and elastic, about 8 minutes. Alternatively, turn out the
dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until
smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.
Turn the ball to coat all surfaces with oil. Cover the
bowl with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let
rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2-2
Punch down the dough and divide it into 16 equal portions.
Flour your hands. On a lightly floured work surface, use
your palms to roll each portion into a long, thin rope.
Then join together the ends of the rope to form a ring.
Each ring should be 6-7 in (15-18 cm) in diameter. Place
on oiled baking sheets or sheets lined with parchment
paper, allowing 2 inch (5 cm) space between the rings. In
a small bowl beat the egg with a little water. Brush each
ring with a little of this mixture. Sprinkle the rings
with the sesame seeds. Let rise in a warm place until
doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 425 F (220 C). 7-Bake the
bread rings for 7-10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature
to 325 F (165 C) and continue to bake until golden brown,
about 20 minutes longer or until the bottoms sound hollow
when tapped. Let cool on wire racks.
In Egypt, street vendors display these bread rings on long
poles. Semit can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack with
some cheese or hard boiled eggs. "Semit We Bayd". The
savory rings are popular in Greece and Turkey as well.
Seeds of paradise or equal parts sesame seeds and poppy
seeds can be substituted for the sesame seeds.