So, as you may or may not know, I am half Syrian on my mom's side. Thankfully, as I grew up, I was often in the kitchen with my mom and also with my Tete (Grandma) until she passed away. I was able to learn so much from them about making Syrian food and also about family traditions. I am so grateful for this time spent with both of them. Although I don't know everything there is to know about Syrian cooking, I've gleaned as much as I can from these experiences, and as my mom will tell you, I call her all the time for help and tips when I try traditional recipes.
Recently, in the wonderful world of food blogging, I came across my sister from another mister, Dimah. No, she doesn't have a clue who I am, but I think she is pretty much the greatest person....ever. She blogs over at Orange Blossom Water, and she is Syrian. She lives in Syria, and she blogs almost entirely about Syrian cooking/baking. She, like me, learned from her mother, and she shares as much as she can about what she learns. I pretty much am in love with her. (That's not at all creepy, right.....?)
Like every good, Syrian woman, I have a trusty bottle of Orange Blossom Water handy at all times!
While browsing her blog, I came across a killer recipe for Bsaisat which is a Syrian dessert made by working and rolling out dough and then flattening it out before frying it and dunking it in sugar syrup. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I knew I just had to try this recipe. The funny thing is, once I told my mom about the recipe, she told me my tete used to make them with my aunt long before I was born. I really feel such a strong connection to my tete, and I think it's so ironic when I have a link to her I never even knew about or could have predicted.
I knew this recipe would take most of the day, but I had all of the ingredients so I thought I would give it a try. I first had to start with A'Jineh Mwarraqah, the dough, and then finishing with the frying and soaking. Since most of the recipe references photos taken by Dimah, I won't copy and paste it here, but you can see the full recipe in the link above. I will just post some photos of my process here.
A few notes after the fact:
- Next time, I will make the dough balls a bit smaller
- I'm not sure how Dimah got so many fluffy looking layers in hers. I even decided to use my hands versus the rolling pin for the final role out in hopes of keeping some of the fluff
- When I fried the second batch, I noticed the lower temperature seemed to bring out a few more layers
I will definitely make these again! Although the dough took a bit of time, it was very simple to make, and the end result was delicious!