bbd #5: Rarif al Rarif – Egyptian Cheese Rolls

The theme of Bread Baking Day #5, this month hosted by Chelsea from Rolling in Dough, is filled breads.

Whereas I have made sweet filled breads like the orange cinnamon swirl bread, this time I wanted to bake a savoury bread. I chose the "rarif al rarif", cheese filled rolls from Maggie Glezer’s A Blessing of Bread. The recipe comes from Ofrah Sadeh, an Egyptian-Iraeli cook who bakes
these very crispy and buttery rolls for a light dairy lunch or dinner.
To stay authentic, you could dipp them in za’tar oil.

filled roll

The rolls are originally filled with Brinza Cheese. Glezer proposes queso fresco or Monterey Jack Cheese, I took Gouda. I think, Feta also would be a good choice.

folded dough

For flaky rolls the dough is rolled into a square, smeared with butter and twice folded like a business letter. After a stay in the fridge this procedure is repeated.

dough with cheese

The cheese is rolled into cut dough rectangles.

rolled dough in the pan

The stuffed rolls in the pan ready to be glazed and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

baked rolls

The baked rolls.

baked roll

========== REZKONV-Rezept – RezkonvSuite v1.4
Titel: Rarif al Rarif – Egyptian Cheese Rolls
Kategorien: Bread, Rolls, Cheese
Menge: 8 Cheese-stuffed rolls


1 Teel.   (3 g/0.1 ounce) instant yeast
500 Gramm   (3 3/4 c/17.6 ounces) bread flour
280 Gramm   (1 1/4 c/10 ounces) warm water
2 Teel.   (10 grams/0.4 ounce) table salt
1 Teel.   (4 grams/0.1 ounce) granulated sugar
2 Essl.   (27 grams/1 ounce) vegetable oil
115 Gramm   (1 stick/8 tb/4 ounces) unsalted butter,
      -softened, plus
      Extra butter for buttering the pan
225 Gramm   (8 ounces) brinza cheese, queso fresco or
      -Monterey Jack cheese (Petra: Gouda)
1     Egg for glazing
      Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)


  adapted from
  Maggie Glezer
  A Blessing of Bread
  Erfasst *RK* 30.12.2007 von
  Petra Holzapfel


In a mixer bowl, whisk together the yeast and 1 1/4 cup (170 grams/6 ounces) of the flour, then whisk in the warm water until smooth. Let slurry stand uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes, or until it begins to ferment and puff up slightly.

Whisk the salt, sugar, and oil into the puffed yeast slurry until smooth. Knead in the remaining 2 1/2 cups (330 grams/11.6 ounces) flour all at once. Knead on low speed (Kenwood 1) for 3 minutes, then for 3-4 minutes on medium speed (Kenwood 2-3).

The dough should feel firm, stick to itself easily but not to the work surface, and be easy to knead.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment until it has at least doubled in bulk, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a thin 16inch (41-cm) square. Smear it with half of the butter. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter, rotate it a quarter turn, and fold it into thirds again. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it relax for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Repeat the rolling out, buttering, and folding, using the remaining butter. Refrigerate the dough for an hour or two to get flaky rolls.

Heavily butter a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-cm) baking pan. Gut the cheese into eight 4-inch-(10-cm-) wide blocks*.

Roll the dough out again into a 16-inch (41-cm) square. Gut the dough in half, then cut each piece into four equal rectangles, 8 inches by 4 inches (20 cm by 10 cm). Arrange the cheese on the dough. Fold the sides of each dough rectangle over the cheese, then roll the piece into a neat cylindrical bundle, making sure that the cheese is completely enclosed, and place seam side down in the prepared pan, making two rows of four equally spaced rolls.

Cover the pan well with plastic wrap. (The rolls can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours at this point.) Let the rolls proof until well expanded about 2 1/2 -3 hours.

Meanwhile, 30 minutes before baking, arrange an oven rack in the lower third position, and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C/gas mark 6). Beat a pinch of salt into the egg for glazing the rolls.

When the rolls do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze and then sprinkle them with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake the rolls for 30 to 40 minutes, until very well browned.

When the rolls are done, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool.

*I cut about 8-cm blocks and placed them on the short side of the rectangles. Next time I will try Feta cheese.


9 Antworten auf „bbd #5: Rarif al Rarif – Egyptian Cheese Rolls“

  1. Wow, that looks super. I’ve never come up to a similar recipe before and you know we love feta in Greece. Your’s is definitely on my to do list. Thanks for Bread Baking Day No. 5 giving us the opportunity to share our recipes and thank you for posting it.

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