CHEESE FATAYER

Posted: September 16, 2022 in Uncategorized

Every once in a while, my daughter finds an interesting recipe that we decide to try on our own.

A fatayer is a Middle Eastern savory pastry, usually made into the size of a hand pie. Trying to be efficient (and also being a bit lazy), I went the route of one large fatayer (basically a pizza) instead of 10 hand pies, which is what the recipe called for.

Our large fatayer, though not traditional, was still absolutely delicious, and the use of olive oil in the dough (a lot of it) and an egg wash on the crust gave a softeners and chewiness not unlike the best pretzel you’ve ever had! Really delicious!

The nice thing about my recipe is that you can use store-bought pizza dough. You don’t have to make the dough from scratch. I’m sure the crust would be even lighter if you did, but this system worked well for me…and I didn’t want to work as hard!

2 packages of ready-made pizza dough
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups freshly grated mozzarella (loosely packed)
1 1/4 cups crumbled feta cheese
a handful of chopped fresh parsley
Extra freshly grated mozzarella for stuffing into the dough
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

 

 

If the dough you’re using is frozen, let it come to room temperature and rise according to package instructions. This could take up to 6 hours or more.

While the dough is rising, make the cheese mixture, combining the mozzarella, feta and parsley in a bowl. Set it aside in the fridge.

Also set aside the extra grated mozzarella in the fridge separately.

Make the garlic butter mixture, combing the butter, garlic and salt in a bowl. Set it aside.

Make the egg mixture, whisking the egg in a bowl with the water. Set it aside.

Once the dough has risen properly, pre-heat the oven to 425.

Place the dough in a stand mixer and add the olive oil. Mix slowly at first, slowly increasing the speed, for about 5 minutes, until the dough and the olive oil have mixed together well.

It’s a messy process, but you need to knead the dough by hand on a clean surface for about 5 minutes, so dust the surface with all-purpose flour, and carefully remove the oily dough from the mixing bowl. It will be greasy and messy, but knead it as best you can, adding flour to the dough until it’s no longer an oily mess and becomes a nice, soft dough. Use as little flour as possible to make this happen. The less you use the lighter the baked crust will be.

Get a large baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Place the dough on the sheet, and spread it out evenly with your fingertips to the full size of the baking sheet.

Take the extra grated mozzarella and sprinkle it around the edges of the dough, and then fold the edges of the dough over it, basically making a “stuffed crust.” The crust will be higher than the center, which will hold in all the tasty goodies inside.

Brush the center of the dough with all the garlic butter mixture. Don’t worry…it’s not too much!

Now add the cheese mixture evenly in the center of the dough as well, all the way up to, but not on, the crust.

Brush the crust with the egg wash mixture.

We had some leftover chicken sausage, so we added it to one side of the fatayer!

Place the sheet pan in the center of the oven and bake for 20 — 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Remove the fatayer from the oven and let it cool a few minutes before slicing.

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