Skip to main content

The 'We Knead to Bake' Project 2014 - 'Komaj' (Persian date bread with turmeric & cumin)



I've racked up about 1/2 a dozen of my dishes perfected and photographed, and yet, when it comes to actually writing them up to publish them, it appears that I've been afflicted by a kind of writers block. I seem to be having a hard time trying weave in interesting anecdotes to the recipe (which has been promptly jotted down faithfully in one of my notebooks I keep stuffing into cabinets and shelves in almost every room, so that I don't forget exactly what went into it.
I get my breaks from these blocks with the baking projects thankfully. Aparna picked out a Persian bread for this month and gave an advance notice that there wasn't much historical information she could dig out, other than the fact that the recipe from Greg & Lucy Malouf's book 'Saraban' - A Chef's journey through Persia.
There was something intriguing in that combination of Cumin Cardamom, turmeric and dates, so much that I did not even try to add any of my quirky touches to the recipe.. Or did I??

Komaj: (Recipe adapted from 'Saraban' - A Chef's journey through Persia, by Greg & Lucy Malouf)


You need (for the dough) :

3 3/4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
1/8 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups warm milk

1 1/2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

For the Filling:

12 to 15 dried dates, pitted and cut into chunks (the slightly soft kind)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
4 to 5 pods cardamom, powdered

Milk/ cream for brushing dough


Whisk in the yeast with the warm water and allow it to 'bloom' and bubble up slightly (~10 - 15 minutes). Feel free to add a sprinkle of sugar to help the process.

Sift the flour, sugar, turmeric, crushed cumin and salt into the bowl of the stand mixer. Turn on the mixer (fitted with the dough hook), add in the bloomed yeast and the EVOO, and let the liquid ingredients integrate with the dry ones.

Gradually add the milk and olive oil, and knead until you have a smooth and pliable dough that’s not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat the dough and then cover loosely and let it rise till it has doubled (about an hour or so). Once its risen, punch it down and allow the dough to rise again (another hour).



Prepare the filling by mixing together the chopped dates, soft butter and cardamom together in a bowl.


Divide the dough into 8 equal portions . Working with one portion at a time, roll each one out into a rectangle that is about between 1/4" and 1/8” thick. Place a teaspoon of the filling on the sheet of rolled dough (about a quarter of the way along the length).


 Fold the dough over the filling and gently press down to expel any trapped air. At this point, my 8 year old suggested using a Ravioli press when he saw me struggling with a cookie cutter to shape the individual pieces. His Idea was perfect, not only did the dough get sealed it also got shaped perfectly in one shot!



Press down and seal the dough around the filling. With your palm firmly on the ravioli  press, jiggle it a bit to dislodge the extra strip of dough (which can be used to make more of the buns).


Repeat with the remaining portions of dough and the scraps. The date filling was enough for 12 buns.
Place on  a baking tray lined with parchment,  leaving space between them because they will puff up on baking. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.

Then brush them with a little milk and sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon of crushed cumin on top, pressing it down a little with your fingers. Bake the Komaj at 200C (400F) for about 8 to 10 minutes.



Cool  on a rack a little and dust with icing sugar if you like (I had none on hand so did not dust the bread). Serve them warm with tea or coffee. These are best eaten the day they’re made. Leftovers can be reheated and eaten the next day.


This recipe makes 12 Komaj.




 This post is being Yeastspotted.



Comments

  1. Oh you used this ravioli presser i thought you were talking about the tray one . They look so good, i still have to make them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tray ravioli press is really tiny, this was about 2 1/2 inches diagonally, so it worked. I wish I had a round one...

      Delete
  2. Hello, just found your post at Yeastspotting, what a fantastic bread, I am in awe!

    I am wondering if a similar dough could be used to roll the filling as in a big stromboli, baked as a singe loaf... although of course the presentation of these small rolls is superb!

    great post!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear feedback from you, your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

Popular posts from this blog

Product Review: Ninja Mega Kitchen system and a recipe for Masala Dosa

One of the biggest reasons for attending conferences is the priceless experience of meeting fellow bloggers and get an invaluable exposure to all things  culinary. This includes vendors with new products to savor and get inspiration from.

I had no complaints about whatever appliances I had for making traditional Dosa (Traditional South Indian rice & lentil crepes) batter, a sturdy tabletop stone grinder that you could add the Urad dal, turn the timer on , and 30  minutes later, come back to a container full of fluffy, batter with the consistency of whipped egg whites. The
The cons of this is the cleaning up, of the various parts, the roller, the grinding bin, the multiple trays on which the rollers need to be placed while transferring the rice & lentil batter, the invariable drips of thick batter on the counter.... you get the point, It takes quite a bit of time.

I was pleasantly surprised when the appliance company, Ninja asked me if I'd like to try any of their appli…

From Spuds to Suds - A recipe for soap!

From Soup to soap, spuds to suds.. Just a few catch lines posted as a response to a photograph of home made soap I posted on my Instagram account.. Found it so appealing that I seriously started contemplating blogging about it. The decision was made when I got some fabulous feedback about the soap.
The idea of making soap crossed my mind during the time I dabbled in making Lip balm. A fellow Blogger friend, Nandita Iyer (Saffron Trail )had posted some ravishingly beautiful photographs of home made soap and it was sounded so fascinating that I immediately wanted to rush out and buy the ingredients right then and there.. Umm, not so fast - Inevitably the part about Caustic Lye and its corrosive properties followed and kind of slowed me down (actually stopped me). As a compromise I shopped for those bulk soap blocks from Michaels and tried to concoct my own 'flavors' and it was such a disappointing waste of time, money and effort. For one, those blocks have this long list of unp…

Unusual Ingredients - Unripe Blueberry Achar

T'was just another Summer afternoon, The kids were home for the summer holidays, getting bored, there's only so much summer reading you can force them to do, and the Indian mommy in me could no longer caution them against going out in the afternoon  (I've solemnly refused to use that horrid excuse of 'You'll get a dark tan if you stay out in the mid day sun'), and so we decided to head out to Terhune orchards for the blueberry picking. The kids never say no to outings to the orchard, they LOVE the trip there, the cute yellow dogs and the cats,  the chocolate crinkle and Snickerdoodle cookies, and they positively trip over grabbing buckets and heading joyfully towards the berry bushes...



... And there it ends, the younger one loses herself in her delightful imaginary worlds where she probably thinks she's hacking her way through virgin Amazon jungle, sighing at every branch that brushes against her legs, picks 2 or 3 berries as if they were a new as yet und…