Donnerstag, 6. Juni 2013

Oriental buns filled with meat

Today I decided to cook something with an oriental touch. Many years ago during the early 70th I (then a child) and my parents visited Turkey quite often. My parents had some turkish friends and therefore we were invited to stay at different locations all over the country. Turkey changed a lot since then for sure. I remember overnight stays at caravanserais in the middle of nothing, were we slept on wooden galleries on thick carpets. There were camels and donkeys too, no running water (modern luxury), water for washing was kept in very large clay/terracotta urns (nearly man size high) with small brass cranes attached. Only Alibaba and the 40 thieves went missing.
During a stay in Bursa, in an very ancient silk worm farm house, we were served with buns filled with meat. They were delicious and I tried to bake those buns on my own, still remembering their nice and juicy texture and the mysterious spice mix the grandmother of the house prepared the buns with.

I did not have any recipe so I just tried it - if there are any turkish readers someday: I know this may not be the correct recipe and method but it looks nearly the same...

freshly baked buns

The meat in question was ground lamb but I used the typical german mix of pork and beef (did not get any lamb meat today because I was to buisy to visit a turkish butcher).

First I made a dough out of:
  • 1 3/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1+ tablespoon sugar
  • good pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon (only a little)

I let this dough run in my kitchen machine for 10 minutes. First the dough is rather sticky nearly runny soft but it will get more elastic firm later on. I put the bowl holding the dough into a bigger bowl filled with warm water to keep the dough warm and help the yeast to develop quickly.
After 35 minutes the dough had risen and was ready to be used.
For the filling I mixed:
  • 500 g ground meat (pork/beef)
  • 1 slice white bread soaked in water and squeezed afterwards, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 1 small pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, ground hand, kneading until smooth.and formed 10 small balls.

I divided the dough into 10 portions. The dough is very soft (think Pizza dough) so I worked with flour dusted hands. I formed 10 flat discs as in forming pizza (by hand alone)  by stretching the dough in all directions.
1 meat ball was placed in the middle of each disc and the dough closed around the balls.
I set the buns on a baking sheet and cut round holes in the middle of the tops. This helps to release the steam during baking. I let the buns rest for 35 minutes, mixed 1 egg yolk with a little salt and  brushed the buns with this, sprinkled some nigella seeds

buns rising

The buns were baked at 180 C for 30 minutes.

I made some vegetables aside:
Carrot sticks and celery stalks braised in olive oil and spiced with salt, pepper, cumin and a little sugar;
Summer squash and bellpepper, braised with a little garlic, onion, cherry tomatoes spiced with mint, sweet chili, salt and cinnamon.
I served everything with yoghurt sauce (creamy yoghurt with minced garlic, cumin and mint) on salad leaves.

I think the original buns were way smaller, there was less filling and more dough around and all in all the buns were sweeter, but my first attempt was not that bad at all. The bun were soft and soaked up the meat juicy well without getting soggy.
Next time I am going to use lamb and add more sugar.


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Your buns look very good! They remind me of manju with lots of "an" filling!

Turkey is an oriental country, but for the Japanese, it's where east and west are mixed together.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Thanks, and they are still fine the other day! Had one for breakfast.

As for mixing east and west: Istanbul is a western city, but for the rest I am not quite sure.