Labneh-Filled Fatayer With Nigella Seeds and Honey

Muzna Bishara

1½ hours

Makes 15 pastries

fatayer with labaneh anf nigella seeds
Fatayer stuffed with labneh, nigella seeds, and honey. Photo by Matan Choufan.

Fatayer, a triangular savory pastry, is typically stuffed with spinach or wild greens. In this sweet and sour version, tart labneh takes its place, while honey and seasonal fruit add a touch of sweetness.

Ingredients

  • For the dough:
  • 2½ cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm milk or yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon (5 grams) active dry yeast, or 1½ tablespoons (13 grams) instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) olive oil + a little more to open the dough
  • ⅓ cup fresh hyssop leaves (or oregano, thyme, basil or chives)
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds 
  • For the filling:
  • 15 labneh cheese balls
  • 8 tablespoons honey
  • 3-4 tablespoons nigella seeds
  • Juicy seasonal fruit cut into 15 2×2-cm cubes (such as nectarine / grape / tangerine / orange, etc.)
  • For baking:
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Preparation

  1. Prepare the dough: Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on a medium speed to a soft dough. Cover with a towel and let rise until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 hour. Divide the dough into 15 balls, each weighing about 50 grams / 1.7 ounces. Place atop a tea towel or parchment paper, cover with a towel, and let rise for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. 
  3. Use a little olive oil to “open” each dough ball with into an 8-cm / 3-in round. In the center of each, place a lightly crumbled labneh ball, a cube of fruit, ½ tablespoon of honey, and a sprinkling of nigella seeds on top. Bring 2 sides of dough together over the filling and pinch to seal. Bring the third side to form a triangle and pinch to seal well. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper with the seam facing down, and press each triangle lightly with your hand to ensure that the dough will not open during baking.
  4. Brush the fatayer triangles with milk and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with olive oil.

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