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skippyisheretostay:

GREEK KATAIFI

Greek kataifi is a cousin to baklava, a similar combination of chopped nuts and crispy dough soaked in syrup, only instead of being made with thin, stacked sheets of phyllo dough, kataifi is made with what is commonly described “shredded phyllo”: fine strands of dough wrapped around a nut filling like a little bundle of hay.

Kafaiti dough (

Kataifi dough is also a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisines (where is is known as kadaif or kunafa orkonafa or many other names) 

KATAIFI DOUGH

  • In a large bowl, combine:
  • 440 ml water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 220 g all purpose flour
  • 160 g cornstarch

Using a hand blender, blend the batter together until completely smooth, with no lumps at all. (Alternatively, you can make the batter in a blender jar and whizz it until smooth.)

Pour the batter into a plastic piping bag (or you can use a large Ziplock bag) and twist the end to secure so none of the batter spills out. Cut a tiny bit off the tip of the bag – just enough so that a very fine stream of batter comes out when you squeeze the bag.

pipingbag

Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and brush it lightly with oil. Starting in the middle of the pan, pipe a concentric spiral of the batter – it’s OK if the spiral overlaps somewhat, but you want the strands of batter to be as thin and separate as possible.

cooking1

Cook for about 20-30 seconds, until the batter is dry and the strands start to lift themselves up off the surface of the frying pan.

cooking2

Use a wooden chopstick to remove the strands from the frying pan and transfer then to a plate or baking sheet.

Cover with a tea towel so that the dough doesn’t dry out and get too brittle while you cook the rest of the batter.

cooking4

Repeat until all the batter is used up. Be sure to keep the stream of batter coming out of the piping bag as thin as possible.

FILLING & ASSEMBLY

In the bowl of a food processor, combine:

  • 150 g walnuts, pistachios, and/or almonds (any combination totaling 150 g)
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • Pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped but not powdered.

In a medium bowl, mix together:

  • 250 g unsalted butter, clarified and melted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350˚F (325˚F convection). Prepare a 9″ x 13″ baking dish by brushing the bottom and sides with some of the butter mixture.

Divide the kataifi dough into 15 equal portions and lay them out on your work surface in little rectangles approximately 2″ x 5″. For best results, try to align the strands so that they run the length of the rectangle. Brush each rectangle generously with some of the butter mixture, and place about 1 heaped tbsp of the nut mixture at one end of each of the rectangles.

assembly

Carefully roll the nuts up inside the kataifi strands, tucking them securely around the nut mixture.

rolling
buttering

Bake in the preheated 350˚F (325˚F convection) oven for 50-60 minutes. If they are not golden brown by that point, increase the oven temperature to 375˚F (350˚F convection) and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until nicely coloured. Allow to cool on a rack.

baked

Once the kataifi are cooled, prepare the soaking syrup.

In a medium saucepan, combine:

  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • the rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

When the kataifi are cool and the syrup is still piping hot, remove the cinnamon stick and lemon rind and pour the syrup over the pastry (it is key to have cool pastry and hot syrup). It will seem like too much syrup at first, but let it sit and absorb for several hours or overnight, during which time it should soak up most of it.

soaking

Pour off any excess syrup, then sprinkle each kataifi roll with chopped pistachios before serving. Will keep in a covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

garnished

I’ve made philo dough from scratch so I think I can make this too. If any of you are from the UK, ‘Phoenicia’ in Kentish Town has some of the best Kataifi, Baklava and Turkish coffee ever 😋! Me and my Italian BFF loved that place.

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