Aqras Helweh I

May 14th, 2010

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Aqras Helweh I

Aqras is a kind of Syrian cookies. There are three recipes for Aqras, Aqras Helweh (Sweet Aqras) and this is the traditional one, and another recipe of Sweet Aqras which is the modern one, and a recipe of Aqras Malha (Salty Aqras). I’ll share with you the three recipes in separated posts.

Today’s recipe is about the traditional Aqras, there are no big differences between traditional and modern Aqras except the type of flour, the amount of yeast and the size.

Aqras was one of the foods that people took with them when they traveled on camels or by ships before the invention  of planes, for example, when people traveled on camels to Mecca to perform Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), journey took months and Aqras was one of the best foods that remains long time without being affected or something happens to it.

My grandmother makes Aqras every few weeks, it is great for breakfast or as a snack with a cup of milk or hot tea and usually we eat them with jebneh, all Aqras recipes on this blog are from my grandmother.

Let’s make Aqras Helweh I:

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1. In a pot, add ghee.

2. Melt ghee over low heat (only melt, do not heat or boil the ghee).

3. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, instant yeast, and baker’s ammonia, mahlab and make a well.

4. To the well, add ghee.

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5, 6. Add warm water, and knead all the ingredients until well combined, you have to spend time and knead the dough very well.

7. Let the dough rest for two hours.

8. After two hours, prepare meat grinder and attach to it the medium holed plate.

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9, 10. Grind all the dough.

11, 12. Knead the dough using your hand after grinding.

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13. This tool is called “Manqash Aqras” and is used specially for Aqras that’s why the name has the word Aqras, it is used for two reasons, the first to poke the aqras, and the second reason to gives a nice shape called “Naqsheh”.

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14. Take a piece of the dough and weigh it, make all the pieces the same weight, approximately 64 – 65 g.

15. Take the piece of the dough.

16. Press using your hand.

17. Dip one side of the dough in sesame seeds.

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18. This is the side which is dip it in sesame seeds.

19. Turn the dough to the other side, the one which is not dipped in sesame seeds, and roll out this piece of dough to get  5.9 inch (15 cm) diameter circle, and 0.1 – 0.2 inches (3 – 4 mm) thickness.

20, 21. Place on aluminum sheet or non stick baking sheet , but do not grease the sheet, the side which is not dipped in sesame sides is the bottom side, then use the “manqash” to poke holes, or you can use the fork.

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22. Bake at 392 – 428 °F (200 – 220 °C) for 9 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown in color, remove from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the sheet.

Store at room temperature in airtight container, serve with milk, or tea, or jebneh.

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Aqras Helweh I

From: Family Recipe / Servings: 10- 12 Cookies
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

125 g ghee, melted

500 g whole wheat flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp instant yeast

1/2 tsp baker’s ammonia

1 tbsp ground mahlab

3/4 cup warm water

Sesame seeds

In a pot, add ghee.

Melt ghee over low heat (only melt, do not heat or boil the ghee).

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, instant yeast, and baker’s ammonia, mahlab and make a well.

To the well, add ghee.

Add warm water, and knead all the ingredients until well combined, you have to spend time and knead the dough very well.

Let the dough rest for two hours.

After two hours, prepare meat grinder and attach to it the medium holed plate.

Add warm water, and knead all the ingredients until well combined, you have to knead the dough very well.

Let the dough rest for two hours.

After two hours, prepare meat grinder and attach to it the medium holed plate.

Grind all the dough.

Knead the dough using your hand after grinding.

This tool is called “Manqash Aqras” and is used specially for Aqras that’s why the name has the word Aqras, it is used for two reasons, the first to poke the aqras, and the second reason to gives a nice shape called “Naqsheh”.

Take a piece of the dough and weigh it make all the pieces the same weight, approximately 64 – 65 g.

Take the piece of the dough.

Press using your hand.

Dip one side of the dough in sesame seeds.

This is the side which is dip it in sesame seeds.

Turn the dough to the other side, the one which is not dipped in sesame seeds, and roll out this piece of dough to get 5.9 inch (15 cm) diameter circle, and 0.1 – 0.2 inches (3 – 4 mm) thickness.

Place on aluminum sheet or non stick baking sheet , but do not grease the sheet, the side which is not dipped in sesame sides is the bottom side, then use the “manqash” to poke holes, or you can use the fork.

Bake at 392 – 428 °F (200 – 220 °C) for 9 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown in color, remove from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the sheet.

Store at room temperature in airtight container, serve with milk, or tea, or jebneh.

Notes and Tips

The following two notes are written on the bag of the flour I used:

Wheat Flour ATTA.

Flour number (2).

For baking, I used aluminum baking sheet.

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3 Responses to “Aqras Helweh I”

  1. I see I am going to have to dedicate some serious time to learning to cook Syrian – another incredibly tasty recipe.

  2. Dimah says:

    OysterCulture: Thank you dear, you are too kind :)

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