Fatayer Bi Jibneh - Middle Eastern Cheese Pie
Here is a delicious Middle Eastern Cheese Bread also as Fatayer bi Jibneh makes a delicious side dish or appetizer along with a Middle eastern meal like Hummus, Manakish, Labneh and more.
Here is a delicious Middle Eastern Cheese Bread also as Fatayer bi Jibneh that is made from freshly yeasted bread which is made from fresh cheese combined along with herbs and peppers to make it delicious.
Akkawi cheese is traditionally used in making Fatayer Bi Jibneh. It is made very similar to homemade chenna (paneer) with addition of salt. Hence in the below recipe we are using homemade chenna/ paneer.
For Homemade Cheese
- 3 liter Milk
- 3 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt For Jibney Filling
- 1/4 cup Feta Cheese , crumbled
- 1 teaspoon Kalonji (Onion Nigella Seeds)
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper corns , coarsely pounded
- 2 Stalk Spring Onion (Bulb & Greens) , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Parsley leaves , finely chopped
- 3 sprigs Mint Leaves (Pudina) , finely chopped
- Salt , to taste For the dough
- 1-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour (Maida)
- 1 teaspoon Active dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Curd (Dahi / Yogurt)
- 1 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lukewarm Water , as required For cream wash
- 1/4 cup Fresh cream , whisked well
How to make Fatayer Bi Jibneh - Middle Eastern Cheese Pie
To begin making the Fatayer Bi Jibneh, prepare all the ingredients and keep ready.
To make the Homemade Cheese, into a heavy bottomed pan, pour the 3 liters of milk. Turn the heat to high and wait for the milk to come to a boil.
When the milk begins to boil add in the freshly squeezed lemon juice. You will notice that the milk begins to curdle separating the milk into cheese and whey.
The cheese is also called the chenna. Turn off the heat and allow the cheese to rest in the whey for about 5 minutes.
Now that that chenna is rested for about 5 minutes , we will separate the whey and the chenna using a thin sieve strainer and a muslin cloth.
Once completely drained, remove cheese from muslin cloth - crumble and keep aside.
For the dough; into a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together - flour, salt, yeast and sugar. Add the oil and water and mix well until the dough gathers into a soft and smooth dough.
If the dough has become too soft and has too much water, add a little extra flour and knead well until smooth.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and pliable. Cover with a kitchen cloth and allow it to rest for least 2 hours until the dough rises and doubles in size.
The dough will be a little sticky.
For the Jibneh Filling, into a large mixing bowl, add the crumbled homemade cheese, feta cheese, pepper, spring onions, parsley, mint leaves and nigella seeds and stir well to combine. Keep aside.
To make the Fatayer Bi Jibneh, preheat the oven to 200 C for 15 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet and grease with oil & dust it with flour.
Divide the dough into 12 to 15 small portions.
Shape each piece of the dough into a small ball.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into an oval shape.
Place a heaped tablespoon of cheese filling over the dough leaving 1 cm border.
Fold in the long sides without completely covering the cheese and pinch the ends tightly to seal. It should look like an oval shaped / leaf shaped open pie/pizza.
Transfer the Fatayer bi Jibney into a greased baking sheet. Using a brush apply the cream wash on the sides of the bread and bake in a preheated oven 240°C for about 12 to 15 minutes or until you notice the edges are golden in colour.
Remove from the oven and serve hot immediately