Made these today. Don't look the prettiest, but they wuz good eatin'
Here's the recipe:
Sfeeha (Baked Lamb Pies)
Yield: 16 Pies
2 3/4 c water; lukewarm (110 to 115
1 ; degrees)
2 pk active dry yeast
1 pn sugar
8 c all purpose flour
2 ts salt
1/4 c olive oil
2 c onion; finely chopped
1 tb salt
2 ts salt
4 tb olive oil
1/2 c pine nuts; (pignolia)
2 lb lamb; lean, boneless and
1 ; coarsely ground
2 md tomato; fresh, ripe, peeled,
1 ; seeded and finely chopped
1/2 c green pepper; finely chopped
1/2 c parsley; finely chopped
1 ; prefer flat leaf parsley
1/2 c lemon juice, fresh
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 tb tomato paste
1 ts cayenne pepper
1 ts allspice
2 ts salt
1 black pepper; freshly ground
Make the dough in the following fashion: pour 1/4 cup of the
lukewarm water into a small, shallow bowl and sprinkle it with the
yeast and sugar.
Let the mixture rest for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve the
yeast completely. Set the bowl in a warm, draft free place (such as
a turned off oven) for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture almost
doubles in volume.
In a deep mixing bowl, combine the flour and the 2 teaspoons of
salt, make a well in the center and into it pour the yeast mixture,
the 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 2 cups of the remaining lukewarm water.
Gently stir the center ingredients together with a large spoon, then
slowly incorporate the flour and continue to beat until the
ingredients are well combined. Add up to 1/2 cup more lukewarm water,
beating it in a tablespoon or so at a time, and using as much as
necessary to form a dough that can be gathered into a compact ball.
If the dough is difficult to stir, work in the water with your
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it by
pressing it down, pushing it forward several times with the heel of
your hand and folding it back on itself. Repeat for about 20 minutes,
or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle it from time to
time with a little flour to prevent it from sticking to the board.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl.
Drape loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside in the warm, draft
free place for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in
bulk. Punch the dough down with a single blow of your fist and divide
it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball about 1 1/2
inches in diameter, cover the balls with a towel and let them rest
for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Drop the onions into a deep bowl
and sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of the salt, turning them about
with a spoon to coat them evenly. Let the onions rest at room
temperature for at least 30 minutes, then squeeze them dry and return
them to the bowl.
In a small skillet or saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil
until a light haze forms above it. Add the pine nuts and, stirring
constantly, brown them lightly. Add them to the bowl of onions, along
with the lamb, tomatoes, green pepper, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar,
tomato paste, cayenne pepper, allspice, 2 teaspoons of salt and a
liberal grinding of black pepper. Knead the mixture vigorously with
both hands, then beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth
and fluffy. Taste for seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (F). With a pastry brush, coat 3
large baking sheets or jelly roll pans with the remaining 3
tablespoons of oil.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each of the balls into a round
about 4 inches in diameter and no more than 1/8 inch thick. to make
open face pies, spoon about 1/2 cup of the lamb filling mixture on
the center of each round. Then with a spatula or the back of the
spoon, spread the filling to about 1/2 inch of the edge.
To make closed pies, spoon about 1/2 cup of the filling on the
center of each round. Pull up the edge from 3 equally distant points
to make a roughly triangular shaped pie and pinch the dough securely
together at the top.
With a metal spatula, arrange the pies on the baking sheets. Bake
in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is
lightly browned. Serve hot, or at room temperature, accompanied, if
you like, with yogurt.