When I got my copy of Breaking Breads for review, I was literally awestruck. Every page I turned it was like I must bake this and second thought was this should be first. But once I saw orange and dark chocolate challah, I was in obligation mode. I have already made few recipes from the book and I can’t recommend it enough, simple straightforward recipe yet with some modern edge. Through it I got to meet the author Uri Scheft in person, the man behind this remarkable book, I have become a true fan.My love affair started with Breads Bakery but since the book I have literally drooled over every picture and imagined making it. But you know a girl could only eat so much carbs right? I know he is famous for the Chocolate Babka which you can read all about here. If you ever visit New York City I beg you to get a loaf and treat yourself with it, but for me among so many delicious things in bakery their Olive Walnut Bread loaf is heavenly.If you are still not convinced watch this, I completely agree bread baking is a good arm workout.
Hamantashen is a classic Jewish cookie with jam or sweet filling, and eaten during a Purim. The shape has a symbolic meaning, as it represents the shape of Haman’s hat whose plot to kill Jewish people was destroyed. The book has few kinds of Hamantashen, seeing a savory potato filling one, I knew that it would be a perfect vessel to stuff the prominent Samosa filling.
If you know me even a little bit I am a die-hard fan of Samosa, a beautiful crispy pastry surrounding a well-balanced potato and peas filling, dipped in some cilantro chutney. But thing is here in United States you get samosa pretty much every Indian food place you go but alas they are just mundane; oily and greasy mess with no flavor and don’t even get me started on the chutney some serve. They are either old refrigerated or with no real flavor of cilantro.
Since turmeric is on a bull’s rage right now, I am sure many of you are hoarding and thinking about different ways to use it. I am using few whole spices like coriander, cumin and a very popular lip smacking spice blend called chaat masala (read here). Chaat masala is very addictive, try it over watermelon and it will blow your mind. I never make my own chaat masala and prefer Everest brand from Indian Grocers. Serve these with a simple cilantro chutney (here) and an authentic masala chai (here) or some fancy chai latte.
Adapted from Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft
Makes 24 to 30
- 350 grams/ 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 226 grams/ 1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold
- 60 grams/ ¼ cup water plus more if needed, ice-cold
- 5 grams/ 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 grams/ 1 teaspoon salt
- 600 grams/ 3 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 10 grams/ 2 teaspoon salt
- 115 grams/ ¾ cup green peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon coriander, whole
- 1 teaspoon cumin, whole
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno or green chili, finely chopped (use less if you want less heat)
- 3 teaspoons chaat masala (I recommend a brand called Everest) or 2 teaspoons salt
- A big pinch garam masala, optional
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Few sprigs of fresh cilantro, pluck leaves and chop
For egg wash (or use milk/cream)
- 1 egg, large
- 1 tablespoon water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 75 grams/ ½ cup sesame seed or combination of white/ black sesame with a tablespoon of onion seeds
- Put flour and butter stick in freezer for 20 minutes. Mix water, sugar and salt until dissolved, set aside.
- Grate butter sticks over flour using a big whole on box grater. Alternatively you can very finely chop the butter and mix well. Add water and make a dough. Do not knead. Use extra water by a teaspoon if needed.
- Pat the dough into a disk, cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Make the filling
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and potatoes. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until fork tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile heat a nonstick skillet and dry roast coriander and cumin until toasted but not burnt, be careful. Cool completely and crush to very coarse grind.
- Heat oil on low heat, add coarse ground spices, turmeric, jalapeno, potatoes, and peas. Mix and add chaat masala, garam masala, lime juice and cilantro. Mix a few times and set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough very thin (1/16 inch thick). Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter or glass cut out as many rounds a you could. Collect remaining scraps together and without kneading too much, form a flat disk. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.
- Make the egg wash by whisking egg, water and sugar. Spread the sesame seed mix in a plate and set aside.
- Brush one side of rounds with egg wash and press it over sesame seed. Set this rounds in a baking pan with sesame seed down. Repeat this with remaining rounds. Keep the baking sheet in refrigerator while you work the remaining dough.
- Take the scrap dough out, roll and cut rounds like above. Repeat egg wash process. Discard any remaining scraps.
- Chill the rounds for 30 minutes.
- Set a small bowl of water in your work surface. Brush the edges of one round with water, add a heaping tablespoon of the prepared mix and form triangle as shown in pictures.
- Repeat this with all the rounds and chill hamantashen for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake hamantashen for 15 to 17 minutes. They should be golden brown in color. Cool completely before serving.