Syrian Cheese Sambusak

The Dough:
1 1/2 cups smeed (semolina, not semolina flour)
2 1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

The Filling:
3 large eggs
1 pound Muenster, Armenian braided cheese, mozzarella, or kashkeval cheese, in chunks
6 ounces feta cheese, in chunks
Dash of salt (optional)
1/2 cup roasted sesame or nigella seeds or a combination of both

1. Mix the semolina with the all-purpose flour in the bowl of a food processor equipped with a steel blade. Add the salt, oil, and butter. Pulse until the dough is lumpy; do not over mix. Add 3/4 cup water, pulsing until the dough together is smooth and pliable. Set the dough aside.

2. Prepare the filling by beating 2 of the eggs, then mix with the grated cheese or cheeses and salt. The mixture should be slightly dry.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

4. Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness with a rolling pin, your hands, or a tortilla press. If using a tortilla press, cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t stick to the press. Then cut into circles.

5. Put 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the circle. Fold one side over the other to form a half moon. Press the edges to close and crimp them, if desired. Put the sambusak on the 2 cookie sheets, leaving 1/2 inch between them.

6. Beat the remaining egg and brush it on the pastries. Then sprinkle with seeds.

6. Bake the sambusak for 15 to 20 minutes on the middle and lower racks of the oven until slightly golden, switching racks after 10 minutes. Do not overcook.

Yield: about 60 sambusak

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