I’m so happy to have had this week off from work to be able to do recipes like this in the morning AND to be able to meet up with visiting family–My 81 year-old father, my brother, my sister and her family, who are staying at my other sister’s house, and also at my brother’s place, nearby. Life is so short, and so the simple things that I once have taken for granted, are gifts to be cherished as much as possible.
I found this recipe after doing an internet search for tahini sweet rolls or buns. It is very different from the more traditional Beirut tahini swirls, or sukkar bi tahin, which I made once, from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around The World, which is flatter in appearance and less sweet.
I will not link to the site where I saw the recipe I used, because it had three very different pictures, and failed to reference the original sources of them. It appears to be from this website, which I feel is the original, although it is in Turkish.
Overall, I was pleased with this, but if you prefer sukkar bi tahin, these may seem to be too puffy and too sweet.
Sweet Tahini Buns (adapted from tahinli çörek, from Annebal)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110-114 degrees F)
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten slightly
2/3 cup warm milk
2 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup tahini
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk + 1 1/2 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon honey
sesame seeds, roasted and crushed, for topping
In a small bowl, place the 1/2 cup of warm water with the sugar and stir to dissolve, then add the yeast. Leave to bloom undisturbed, until frothy, about 10 minutes.
When yeast has blossomed, add milk, the 2 beaten eggs, and olive oil to it. Stir gently and set aside.
In large bowl, sift together the flour and salt and stir with a whisk to mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture to the well and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, or just use your hands to mix the flour and liquid, until a dough forms; it will be very sticky, and if using your hands, use some flour to unstick dough from hands.
Knead in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface, about 5 minutes, until the dough is elastic and smooth. Place in another large clean bowl greased with oil, and turn the dough to coat with some of the oil. Leave in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap and/or a towel, away from drafts, until doubled, about an hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Add one cup of sugar to one cup of tahini. Mix together. Add an egg and mix together to form a thick paste. Divide into 12 portions. Set aside.
Punch down the dough after it has doubled in size. This removes air and help redistribute the ingredients in the dough. Dough is ready to be divided and formed.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 12 equal parts. Using a scale helps.
With a rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface, flatten one piece into a disc about 7-inches in diameter. Add one portion of the filling (a little more than a tablespoon) to the middle of the disc and spread to about 1/2-inch from the edge.
Roll up from one end to the other of the disc and form a 12-inch log, pinching the edges to enclose the filling. While rolling into a coil, also twist the log as you coil. Tuck the end under the roll and pinch to close, if needed. Flatten the top of the coil with the palm of your hand slightly. Do this for each dough portion, placing six to each baking sheet, and cover each baking sheet with a towel to let rise again for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For topping, whisk one egg yolk with 1 1/2 teaspoons water and 1 teaspoon honey. When rolls are ready to be baked, brush the tops thoroughly with this yolk/honey mixture and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Cool on wire rack.