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Recipe

Spiced Date-Filled Pogaca Rolls

Featured in our 2017 Thanksgiving and 2017 Christmas Guides

Yield: 17 filled rolls or 13 rose-shaped rolls

The spice mix used here, called baharat, is a signature flavoring at Kilpatrick’s café Sofra, and it takes the dried-fruit filling of these soft, airy dinner rolls to the savory side. The spice mix is also delicious on roast lamb, chicken, squash, pumpkin, carrots, and more. Note that there are two sets of shaping and baking instructions, for making either rose-shaped or oval rolls. See the pogaca article for step-by-step photos of how to shape each.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 105°F
  • 1 Tbs. (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup canola oil; more as needed
  • 13½ oz. (3 cups) all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

For the filling

  • 2 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbs. dried mint
  • 2 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 cups chopped pitted Medjool dates
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) softened unsalted butter

For shaping and baking

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. whole milk
  • 3 Tbs. sesame seeds (optional)

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 270
      Fat Calories (kcal): 130
      Fat (g): 14
      Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
      Cholesterol (mg): 40
      Sodium (mg): 150
      Carbohydrates (g): 33
      Fiber (g): 2
      Sugar (g): 13
      Protein (g): 5

Preparation

Make the dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, yeast, and sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg and oil. Put the dough hook on the stand mixer. Add the flour and salt, and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium low, and knead until smooth and stretchy, 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, combine and knead the dry ingredients by hand.)
  • Lightly flour a work surface, and lightly oil a large bowl. turn the dough out onto the surface and sprinkle lightly with flour. Shape into a ball, and transfer to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Make the filling

  • Pass the oregano and mint through a medium-mesh sieve into a small mixing bowl to remove any bits of stem and make a fine powder. Add the pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, and allspice, and stir well. (The spice rub will keep for months stored airtight.)
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dates and butter on medium speed until the butter is no longer visible. Add 2 Tbs. of the spice mix, then mix by hand until incorporated. Transfer to a small bowl. (The butter can be prepared up to one week in advance; keep covered and refrigerated.)

To shape and bake oval rolls

  • Lightly flour a work surface, and turn the dough onto it. Deflate the dough and divide into 17 pieces, about 1-1/2 oz. each. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until an indentation remains after you press a roll with a finger, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
  • Press or roll a dough ball into a 4- to 4-1/2-inch circle. Place about 1-1/2 Tbs. of the filling in the center of the dough circle. Pull up two sides to enclose the filling. Seal the dough by pinching with your fingertips. Turn the roll over so that it’s seam side down, and gently roll into an oval or football shape. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, leaving at least 2 inches between the rolls. Let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Whisk the egg and milk, and lightly brush each roll with the wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans about halfway through, until light golden brown, 28 to 33 minutes. cool on the baking sheet set on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably on the same day.

To shape and bake rose-shaped rolls

  • Lightly flour a work surface, and turn the dough onto it. Deflate the dough, and divide into 13 pieces, about 2 oz. each. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until an indentation remains after you press a roll with a finger, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Lightly flour a work surface.
  • Roll or press a dough ball into a 5-inch circle. Starting from the edge and heading toward the center, cut four evenly spaced slits, each about 1-1/2 inches long, into the circle.
  • Place about 1-1/2 Tbs. of the filling in the center. Wrap one quarter of the dough around the filling; the dough will partially cover but not fully enclose the filling. As you wrap, fold ¼ inch of the top of the dough edge back to form an open petal. Fold the dough quarter opposite the first quarter around the filling and fold back the top to form an open petal. Secure the dough on the bottom with a pinch. Wrap and fold a third quarter in the same manner. Then, when folding the final quarter over, tuck the edges underneath the rose, and pinch to secure. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, leaving at least 2 inches between the rolls. Let rise at room temperature, until almost doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the egg and milk. Lightly brush the dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
  • Bake, swapping and rotating the pans about halfway through, until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet set on a wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature, preferably on the same day.

Tip

You can shape the pogaca a day ahead. Before the final rise, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Let them have their final rise at room temperature as directed, and
then bake as directed. You can also freeze them on a baking sheet before the final rise
and transfer to a freezer bag once frozen solid. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before allowing to rise at room temperature for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, then bake as directed. The great thing about this option is that you can thaw just a few at a time and have pogaca whenever you want.

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