|Koma j~ A Persian Date Bread With Turmeric & Cumin|
For this month in We Knead to Bake we are baking Komaj which is a Persian turmeric and cumin bread that’s filled with chopped dates.
I was skeptical about its acceptance at home and was right. Hubby refused to eat it! Since I suspected as much I made just 5 Komaj the rest I filled with cheese, chilli flakes and oregano. Sorry this I took just one picture of the big roll I made and managed to delete that too.
Aparna had said in her write up which I quote”I know that many of us tend to experiment with the breads posted here in terms of additions to the dough and fillings for filled breads, but I would suggest trying this bread just the way it is because the combination of turmeric cumin and dates is really a good one and worth experiencing.
The dates to be used are the dehydrated ones that are still a little soft, and can be sliced through easily with a knife.”
I am glad I made it the Komaj way but my family preferred the cheese stuffing I gave it!
Komaj ~ Persian Date Bread With Turmeric & Cumin
Recipe Source: Adapted from Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia by Greg & Lucy Malouf
For the dough:
- 1 tsp active dried yeast
- 1/8 cup warm water
- 3 ¾ cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour or maida)
- 2 ½ tsp jeera/cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp haldi/turmeric powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 egg (optional)
- 2/3 cups warm milk
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
For the filling:
- 12 to 15 dates, pitted and cut into chunks
- 25 gm unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
- 4 to 5 pods elichi/
- Milk for brushing dough
- icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- The yeast need to be proof the yeast, that is dissolve the yeast in the warm water and keep it aside for 10 minutes and it will have bubbled up a little.
- Transfer the flour, 2 tsp of the crushed cumin, sugar, turmeric and salt in a big bowl and whisk well to mix.
- Add the egg( if using) and mix well, till it is incorporated.
- Add the yeast , milk and olive oil, and knead until you have smooth and pliable dough that’s not sticky.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat the dough and then cover loosely and let it rise till it has doubled (about an hour or so).
- When the dough has risen, deflate it and then shape into a round. Put it back in the bowl for a second rise till it has doubled (an hour or so).
- As the dough is rising prepare the filling by mixing together the chopped dates, soft butter and cardamom together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Divide the dough in to 8 equal portions, and divide each in half so you have 8 portions.
- Work with one portion at a time ( keep the rest covered), roll each one out into a rectangle that is about between 1/4" and 1/8” thick.
- With a cookie cutter press down lightly this is the guide for the putting the filling.
- Before you put the filling brush a little water over the entire surface to make sure the dough would stick well when folded over.
- Then place about 1 tsp (more than this is not necessary) in the centre of the cookie outline and then fold the other half.
- Using the cookie cutter cut with the filling in the centre, cut out the bun making sure the sides are neat and well sealed. If the sides are not well sealed, the bun will swell and open up during baking. Like Aparna said,” It will taste good but look weird! “
- Repeat with the remaining portions of dough, then reroll the scraps and make two more buns.
- Place them on a lightly greased baking tray leaving space between them because they will puff up on baking. Let them sit for about 15 minutes.
- brush them with a little milk (or egg wash if you use it) and sprinkle the remaining ½ tsp of crushed cumin on top, pressing it down a little with your fingers.
- Bake the Komaj at 200C (400F) for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let them cool on a rack a little you could dust with icing sugar if you lik, I did not.
- Komaj can be served warm with tea or coffee.
- Komaj are best eaten the day they’re made. Leftovers can be reheated and eaten the next day.
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