Moroccan Sesame Florets (Shabbakiya)

Moroccan Sesame Florets (Shabbakiya)

Prep. 15 mins
Cooking 5 mins
Serving 4
Middle Eastern

INGREDIENTS Measurements


Small pinch of saffron threads
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Sugar Syrup
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish



  • In a small cup, combine saffron with ¼ cup of the water. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and ½ tablespoon of the sugar in ½ cup warm water and leave for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  • In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining ½ tablespoon sugar on medium speed until blended. Add flour, cinnamon, and salt. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat in yeast and saffron mixtures, and egg. Mix orange blossom water with vinegar and the remaining ¼ cup of water. Gradually beat vinegar mixture into the flour mixture on medium speed for 6 minutes, or until dough is soft and pliable.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a thin sheet. Cut into 10cm (4in) squares.
  • Using a fluted pastry wheel or the tip of a sharp knife, make 5 or 6 evenly spaced cuts in each square, leaving the outer 1cm (½in) edge uncut. Thread the thumb of your left hand through alternating strips of dough. Do the same with your right thumb. Pull the dough inside out to form a floret. (See photos, page 62.)
  • Heat oil to 160˚C (325˚F) in a deep fat fryer. Fry the florets, turning to brown evenly, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  • While still hot, dip florets in syrup. Let excess syrup drip off. Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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