Saturday, April 9, 2011

Braided Pastries

Braided Pastries

1 lb semolina = 2 3/8 c
1 1/2 c flour
1 c water
leavening: 1 c sourdough starter
1 t salt
3 eggs
1/4 gram saffron (see note)
~1 T oil to brush on
oil for frying
sugar to sprinkle on
1 c honey
1/2 t pepper
1 t cinnamon
1 T lavender

Add water to semolina 1/8 c at a time, mixing, until all of semolina is barely moistened. Add sourdough, 3/4 c flour, and salt, and knead until is is a smooth elastic dough. Crush saffron into 2 t water; add it and eggs to dough and knead in. The dough being too soppy for braiding, add another 3/4 c flour. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour and a half. While the dough rises make the sauce: grind the lavender and add to the honey with the pepper and cinnamon. Flour a cutting board, take small lumps of dough (about 2 tablespoons), roll into 6" strings, and braid three together into braids 6" long. Heat about 1/2" of oil in a frying pan at medium high heat and fry the braids a few at a time, so that there is room to turn them over as they fry, until puffed up and light brown on both sides: about 2-3 minutes total. Makes 15 braids. Drain on paper towels, put on a plate, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with a little sugar.

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