A traditional Easter biscuit from the Greek island of Astypalaia
|Preparation Time:||35 minutes|
|Cooking Time:||35 minutes|
|Time Until Ready:||3 hours|
2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons saffron threads
1 1/2 cups full-fat cottage or farmer cheese, crumbled
4 ounces butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg yolk
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup warm milk
- In a saucepan, warm the milk with the saffron. Simmer until the milk takes on the vivid yellow of the saffron.
- In a mixer bowl, beat the cheese with the butter or margarine, olive oil, and egg yolk. Measure the saffron milk (it should be 1 1/2 cups) and add it to the bowl and beat well, also adding 1 to 2 cups of flour.
- In a large bowl, mix 6 cups of flour with the allspice, pepper, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast and saffron mixtures. Start drawing flour to the center and then knead to obtain a smooth dough. If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour; if too tough, sprinkle with a little water or milk. Let dough rest for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Take pieces of the dough and roll to make 1/2-inch-thick cords. Cut 8-inch-long pieces of the cord and stick the 2 ends of each piece together, forming small (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) crowns.
- Place in oiled pans, leaving room to expand on all sides. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, then arrange on the oven racks. Adjust the oven to 175¡F and bake again for 4 to 5 hours, or until completely dry. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Place in airtight jars or tins. They keep well for a very long time.
Delicious with fresh farmers' cheese or with coffee.
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