Basic Dough for Iraqi Purim Pastries

Ayelet Izraeli

15 minutes + 1-1 ½ hours rising

8-10 dozen assorted treats

Four types of Iraqi Purim pastries on a large white plate

Iraqi Purim Pastries. Photo by Dor Malka.

Iraqi Purim Pastries. Photo by Dor Malka.

This large batch of dough can be used to make three pastries for an Iraqi Purim celebration: savory cheese sambusak, date-filled cookies called b’ab’e b’tamer, and simple ring-shaped biscuits called ka’akat. The recipes come from Ayelet Izraeli and her grandmother Marcel Batzri, who fled Baghdad in the middle of the night for Israel in 1950. Serve them as the family does, alongside tea, at a Purim party.


  • 6 ¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (3 packets, ¼ oz. each)
  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup canola oil


  1. Place the yeast, water, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix until combined.
  2. Add the flour and the salt and begin to mix on medium-low speed. Slowly add the butter and then the oil, until a dough starts to come together. If the dough is still a little dry at this point add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it just begins to come together. Increase speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and soft, about 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Keep in a warm, dark place until the dough has at least doubled in size, 1- 1 ½ hours.
  4. Transfer the risen dough to a clean work surface, lightly knead and then divide dough into four equal sections, for easier handling. Cover the sections of dough that you are not working with in plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out.
  5.  If you’re making ka’akat: Take a small amount of leftover dough (about a ½ tablespoon) and roll it into a 3-inch snake. Pinch the two ends together to form a ring.
  6. Place on a baking sheet, brush with egg and bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown on both sides, 20-24 minutes.
  7. Let cool, then serve or freeze until serving.

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