Sivas Katmeri

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Being Bulgarian I was raised to love our cuisine.  One of the things I miss the most is the little bakeries located almost everywhere, offering traditional breakfast pastries. Sadly, we don`t have Bulgarian restaurant here in Dubai, but few years ago I discovered Turkish food. Little I knew of how similar these two are. In fact we share names of recipes and you guessed it- breakfast!

The recipe I present you today is called Sivas katmeri and its layered dough with butter. I wouldn`t say it`s difficult to make, but it takes some time in the kitchen. Find the recipe below and go through the pictures in the gallery to see how it`s made.

Preparation:

  1. I used the same dough recipe, with which I made the mekici.
  2. Let the dough rest until double in size (45 min. to 1 h)
  3. Cut the dough in 4. You will need two  for each sivas katmeri
  4. Roll the dough until 0.5 cm thin, brush with melted butter and fold like an envelope
  5. Roll second dough, brush with butter and put your first envelope dough in the center
  6. Fold around it and brush generously with butter
  7. Make two sivas katmeri and gently roll them to 1 cm thickness
  8. Place in baking tray, covered with baking paper
  9. Score the dough with sharp knife
  10. Brush with butter and bake at 180 degrees for 45 min. or until golden
  11. I like to serve it with jam, white cheese and herbal tea

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Pancakes with almond milk and apricot jam

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Pancakes are every family favorite! In our house we tried so many varieties I can hardly remember. I think you can actually make pancakes with almost everything. I tried recipes with milk, water, pop and now with almond milk. This is currently my favorite! It`s great texture and mild almond flavor. What more do you need…oh, yes some apricot jam and butter to spread.

Ingredients (about 5 medium pancakes):

  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80-100 g white four (honestly I did not measure it)
  • butter for baking
  • apricot jam to spread

Preparation:

Beat the egg and add almond milk, baking powder, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour. Whisk until you get crepes consistency aka a bit runny. Heat a non stick pan with a bit of butter and bake from each side until golden.

 

Easter brioche 2

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This is my third year in a roll to make my traditional Easter brioche or Kozunak in Bulgarian. At home they say only the one with master chef skills can make it, so I am very proud with myself. This is a recipe from my mum and she has it from her mum, so it`s a big deal for me to keep it going. I am not gonna lie, this brioche takes a lot of time and kneading, but if you follow the steps and have enough time, prepare yourself for a treat.

Ingredients (makes two big brioches)

250 ml warm full fat milk

2 tbsp. dry yeast

250 g white crystal sugar

5 eggs (plus one egg yolk for glazing)

200 g melted butter

1 kg white flour (sifted) and extra 2 cups for kneading

Zest of two limes

 

3 tbsp sugar for topping

Preparation:

  1. Warm the milk and add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes or until bubbles start showing on the top.
  2. Whisk the eggs with sugar, butter and lime zest until smooth. Add the active milk yeast mixture.
  3. In a big bowl make a well in the middle and pour the egg mix. Start work it slowly by incorporating the flour in it. Once you have a soft dough move it to a dusted working surface.
  4. Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes, for best results keep doing it for 30 minutes.
  5. Place the dough into a bowl and cover with cotton towel and allow to rise for an hour, or until it double in size
  6. Knead again for 5 minutes and cut in two. Cut in three each ball and knead it like shown on the pictures below. Make a plait and tuck the edges under.
  7. Place each bread in a separate tray or if you don`t have, just use a baking paper to divide one big tray.
  8. Let it rise again for 2 hours.
  9. Brush with egg wash and top with sugar.
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 180 degrees. Allow to cool before serving.

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Blueberry hot cross buns

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I hope you all had an amazing Easter with your families and loved ones. To me Easter is like small Christmas and I love everything traditional on this day. This year I tried for the first time to make Hot cross buns, and I was very happy with the result, so was my daughter 🙂 The buns are rather easy to make and if you love baking, try them next time you fancy something traditional- I promise you they are much better than the store bought ones.

Ingredients:

For the dough

500 g bread flour

11 g dry yeast

50 g icing sugar

50 g melted butter

200 ml full fat milk

2 eggs plus 1 for glazing

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp mixed spice

100 g dried blueberries

For the cross:

100 g flour

1 tbsp icing sugar

water enough to make a paste

For the sugar syrup

50 g sugar

20 ml water

Preparation:

  1. Start with the sugar syrup to have enough time to cool down. Mix the sugar and water and boil until the sugar dissolve. Set aside.
  2. Warm the milk and add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes until bubbles start showing on the top.
  3. Sift the flour and add the blueberries, spices, the yeast mix, two eggs, butter and sugar. Whisk well until it turns into an elastic dough.
  4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, cover with clean foil or cotton towel and leave it to rise for 1 and a half hours.
  5. Once the dough double in size, knead for another minute and then cut into 10-12 small buns. Place each one in a baking tray, cover with cloth towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. Make the cross by mixing the flour, sugar and little water until you get a thick paste. Put the mix into a a piping bag and cut the edge.
  7.  Brush the buns with egg yolk, draw a cross on each bun and bake at 170 for 40 minutes.
  8. Glaze the buns with sugar syrup immediately after taking them out of the oven.

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Breadsticks with zaatar and cheese

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Quick and tasty, inspired by my previous recipe. I had leftovers zaatar and cheese and turned them into this snack. My 10 months old daughter loved them too.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups white flour

1/2 cup yogurt

50g butter

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

handful chopped zaatar

100 g Emmental grated

Preparation:

Mix well all the ingredients. Roll the dough and cut into thin strips. Twist each strip and place in baking tray at 180 C for 20 minutes.

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Quiche with Emmental and fresh zaatar

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Zaatar is well known Arabic herb. It is sort of thyme, very fragrant and versatile. It is widely used in Bulgaria as well, there it is called “chubrica” and we use it dried as a condiment to almost everything we cook.

I saw this recipe from my Instagram friend Petites Choses . I have to tell you I started looking for fresh zaatar in every shop I go. Well I finally found it and the result is delicious.

Ingredients:

1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
4 eggs
200 ml single cream
100-150 gr Emmental, grated
250 gr white cheese feta type. I used Bulgarian cows milk mature cheese
1 small bunch fresh thyme (zaatar)
salt and pepper

Preparation:

Preheat the oven at 180 C.
Beat the eggs until they become fluffy. Add the cream. Crumble the white cheese  with a fork and add it to the mix. Add the thyme and Emmental. Season with salt and pepper. Mix everything.
Line a pie plate with the dough, let the extra pieces over hang the plate.
Place the mixture on the dough, fold any excess dough onto the center of the plate on top of the egg mixture.
Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden/ brown

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Rice pudding with coconut milk

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There are these desserts that come with memories from your childhood. Rice pudding was often served in the nursery when I was little. It was hard and too sweet to my liking, so most of the time I would skip it. Thanks to my mum I didn`t hate it as hers was creamy and smooth, sprinkled with cinnamon on top.

My recipe today is taking another turn to this childhood classic as I made it with coconut milk. You can try it if you are on vegan diet. It is very flavorful and suitable for babies too (with no sugar).

Ingredients for 3 big or 6 small portions

  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 cans coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • cinnamon

Preparation:

Boil the rice with milk and water until cooked. You might need to stir often when it reach boiling point. Add more water if needed. When its nicely thick add the sugar and stir for a minute. Serve into ramekins and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Let it cool before serving.