The Dough for The Fattayer Pies
The popularity of our fattayer pies, in their various fillings, is no longer restricted to our region. They are another food of our cuisine that have become popular in Canada. I also know for a fact that they were so praised by the American, French, Swedish, and English communities in Saudi Arabia where I previously resided for years.
The word Fattayer فطاير is the plural of Fatteerat which means Pie. The word spells with the ط (not the ت ) which is the stronger T of the Arabic vocabulary. That requires the use of a double T in the English and Latin languages. I care to have it properly written here despite the widely misspelled name out there.
Our small pies are loved for the lightness of the dough, and the deliciousness of their fillings. The dough has no butter, no milk, and just a dose of sugar to activate the yeast. So, light they are indeed.
And light it should be when formed and shaped thinly into their different forms. The aim is to enjoy the fillings to the most, and that can’t possibly be with dough that are too thick.
I am dedicating this page to the making of the dough so not reiterate the recipe with every fattayer recipe I will be sharing (as of tomorrow!). I usually advise to prepare the dough ahead of time, a day before will be ideal, and store it well wrapped in the fridge. It makes it way easier and quicker to make the fattayers.
Our most popular fattayer are:
- the Spinach Fattayer, a baked pie shaped in triangle,
- the Cheese Fattayer a baked pie shaped in eye-form or boat-form, and displays the cheese mixture at the center. Sometimes, this same recipe rolls the pie instead.
- the Fried Meat Fattayer, shaped into a folded triangle.
- the Baked Meat Fattayer that is shaped into a small open square.
We eat the Fattayer pies any time of the day. They are good for breakfast, for brunch, for snacks, on the Mezza table, as appetizers, and so on. Their small sizes make them great Finger Food at reception tables, and good companions of drinks.
And here goes the recipe of the dough for you!
The Dough of the Fattayer
This is the recipe to make the dough for several types of Lebanese Fattayers.
To Proof the Yeast (Group 1)
- 1/2 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 2 tbsp Water (warm)
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
To Make the Dough
- 1 and 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 and 1/2 tbsps Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Warm water
- Oil Spray optional but preferably
- Moist Kitchen Towel
Proofing the Yeast
In a cup, prepare the Yeast by mixing the ingredients of Group 1, and set aside to foam for 10 minutes.
Use the waiting time to prepare the stuffing you opted for.
Making the Dough
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Open a well in the center, pour the olive oil and the proofed yeast and blend them well in.
The water should be added gradually, with attention to a smooth and sticky end-result. Some types of flour needs more or less water. So, pour first 1/4 cup of the warm water, little by little, mixing and kneading to smoothness.
Use the remaining warm water, also gradually, if needed. The dough should be moist enough yet not clinging on your fingers.
Spray oil in a large bowl. Gather the dough into a round ball, and place it in. Spray some oil all over the dough, and cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel.
Set it aside in a warm place for 90 minutes to allow it to grow and double. Do not exceed the 90 minutes.
Your dough is ready by then to make the fattayer of your choice: Spinach, Cheese, Meat, and so on.