Monday, March 7, 2011


Ingredients (Dough)
  • 4 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 2  1/4oz envelopes of Fleischmann's Active Dry East
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yoke for egg wash
  • 1 tsp of Salt
  • 1 Tbsp of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Warm Milk
Ingredients (Filling)
  • 1 lb of Lean Ground Beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 1 Roma Tomato Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheese Cloth
Preparation (Dough - Filling - Dough - Assembly)
  1. Add 2 cups of flour, salt, and sugar to a large bowl and combine
  2. Heat the milk in the microwave
  3. Add the dry yeast to the milk and mix with a spoon until dissolved
  4. Pour the milk and yeast into the large bowl with the flour and mix all the ingredients together with a spoon until everything is combined.  The dough will look wet and messy but just clean off the spoon and let it sit covered with a towel while you prepare the filling.  The dough should double in size in the meantime
  5. For the filling drizzle the olive oil on a hot frying pan and add the chopped onions and garlic
  6. Once the onions become translucent add the ground beef and the chopped tomatoes
  7. Season with salt and pepper and let it cook on high heat mixing to make sure there are no raw parts adding more olive oil if necessary
  8. The meat will give off some juice so once it's cooked layer some cheese cloth (about 20") over a baking sheet and add all of the cooked meat on top of it
  9. Bring the four corners of the cheese cloth together on top of the meat (like tying a Hershey Kiss) and with your hands squeeze as much juice out of the meat as you can.  This will keep the meat tasty but not so juicy as to leak out of the dough while baking
  10. Set the meat aside until dough pieces are ready
  11. Remove the towel covering the dough and add two more cups of flour, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and one egg 
  12. Mix everything together by hand until the dough takes shape and no longer sticks to the bowl or your hand
  13. Form a dough ball (much like a pizza dough) and let it sit for a couple of minutes
  14. Cut the dough into equal parts cutting it in half each time (16 little parts total)
  15. Spread one of the small parts with your fingers forming a laid down triangle
  16. Add a little more than a tbsp of the filling (use your judgment) to the center of the triangle
  17. Bring one corner over the filling and straight in between the other corners
  18. Fold the two other corners to the center over the filling creating a closed triangle
  19. Preheat the oven to 375
  20. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray
  21. Beat the egg yoke and brush it over each "Esfiha" to create that nice golden baked look
  22. Bake for about 20 minutes checking to make sure they are not burning on the bottom.  They are done when they become golden brown
  23. If not serving right away keep them covered with a damp cloth or in a steamy condition.  This will keep them nice and soft
  24. Serve with hot sauce, ketchup, or your favorite condiment
This was a lot of fun to make and to eat of course!  I definitely recommend it with hot sauce! Esfihas are really popular in Brazil.  They are of Middle Eastern origin but are as Brazilian as soccer. Especially in Sao Paulo.  If you are walking around in the city and want a snack chances are you can find esfiha in luncheonettes and bakeries.  They make a perfect weekend afternoon snack for the family!  If you want to make them ahead of time you can but you should bake them and then put them in the fridge.  Just sprinkle them with water when reheating in the oven. I took some over to my worship team at church and everyone loved them! You can definitely play around with the filling.  I also made some with ham and cheese but instead of a triangle shape I rolled them up differently just to tell them apart.  Other filling options are chicken, lamb, corn, or any veggies you might. Beef is my favorite but next time I'm using lamb! I would've also added some green olives to mine if I had any in the fridge. There's always next time lol  Make this!!! You'll love it! Let me know how it turns out!

Thank you for sharing :)