To Aleppo With Love – Ma’arouk Ramadan

July 5th, 2015

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Ma'rouk Ramadan 99o 500

Ma’arouk Ramadan (Ma’arouk Halab / Ma’arouk Halabi) is a sweet bread prepared specially for the Holy Month of Ramadan and it is a specialty of Aleppo, but it is also popular in other cities in Syria.

Let’s make Ma’arouk Ramadan:

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 Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Ma'rouk Ramadan 2

Starter

1, 2, 3, 4. In a bowl, put 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup all purpose flour.

5, 6, 7, 8. Add 1/4 cup lukewarm milk, and mix ingredients with your hands until combined.

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9, 10. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and with a cloth.

11, 12. Keep the starter in a warm place for two hours to rise until double in size and bubbles appear on surface. These photos show the starter after two hours.

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Dough

13, 14, 15, 16. In a bowl, put 1 cup + 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 14 g softened unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons corn oil.

17, 18. Mix ingredients with your hand until sand like mixture forms.

19. To the mixture, add 1/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar,  1/4 cup powdered milk, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

20. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground mahlab, 1/4 teaspoon ground anise , 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

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21, 22. Transfer the mixture of dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer.

23, 24. Add the starter to the dry ingredients.

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25, 26, 27. Set the bowl in place and attach the dough hook to the mixer head, and turn the mixer on low speed to stir the dry ingredients and the starter.

28, 29. With the motor running, add 1/2 cup lukewarm milk and run the mixer, kneading until a mass of dough is formed.

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33, 34, 35, 36. Continue kneading on medium-high speed until a smooth dough is formed

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37, 38. Turn out the dough to a surface and shape it into a ball.

39. Place the dough in a bowl.

40. 41. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and with a cloth.

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41. Keep the dough in a warm place for two hours to rise and double in size.

42. Weight of dough after doubled in size is 659 g.

Ma’arouk can be prepared in different shapes, the following steps will show you four different shapes. Note: this dough “659 g” is not enough to make all shapes, I prepared two batches of dough for this illustration.

Shape 1: Aqras Ma’arouk

Aqras is the main traditional shape in Aleppo.

43. Measure 150 g of dough.

44. Turn out the dough to a surface.

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45. Shape the dough into a ball.

46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51. Flatten dough with your hand until you get a disc of 5 inch (14 cm) diameter and thickness of 7 mm.

51. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer disc to it.

52. I made two discs (Aqras), each one weighs 150 g. Cover with cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

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Shape 2: Dfirah (Braid)

53. Measure 359 g of dough.

54. Divide dough into three equal pieces.

55. Turn out the dough to a surface.

56, 57, 58. Shape the three pieces of dough into ropes, each rope is 17 inch (45 cm) long.

61, 62. Pinch all three pieces together on one end to secure, then braid the ropes together. Pinch the other end of the ropes to secure the braid. I used drops of water to seal both ends.

63. Transfer the braid into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

64. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

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Shape 3: Rolls

65. Measure 120 g of dough.

66. Turn out the dough to a surface.

67, 68, 69. Shape piece of dough into rope equal to 27 inch (70 cm) long.

70, 71, 72, 73, 74. Coil rope into a circle. I used drops of water to seal the end.

75. Transfer the roll into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

76. I made three rolls, each one weighs 120 g. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

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Shape 4: Ma’arouk Bet-Tamer (Ma’arouk With Date Paste)

77. Measure 100 g date paste.

78. Add 25 g softened unsalted butter to date paste.

79. Mix together until combined.

80. Measure two pieces of dough, each one weighs 150 g.

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81. Turn out the dough to a surface.

82. Shape the dough into a ball.

83, 84. Flatten dough with your roller until you get a disc of 8 inch (20 cm) diameter and thickness of 7 mm.

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85, 86. Both pieces of dough were shaped into discs.

87. Spread date paste on disc.

88. Make hole in the center of the filling.

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89. Cover with the other disc, and seal the sides firmly.

90, 91. Make hole in the center of the dough.

92. Use knife and cut circle into triangles, leave the center uncut.

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93, 94, 95, 96, 97. Flip each triangle up, so the date filling will be toward you.

98, 99. Carefully transfer Ma’arouk into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

100. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net -Ma'rouk Ramadan 99g.

Coating

101. In a bowl, put 2 tablespoons grape molasses.

102, 103, 104. Add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds to molasses, and mix.

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105, 106, 107, 108. Once Ma’arouk is double in size, so brush with mixture of molasses and seeds.

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108, 109, 110, 111. Once Ma’arouk is doubled in size, so brush with mixture of molasses and seed.

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112, 113, 114, 115. Heat the oven at 355°F (180 °C) (I’ve done this step of heating oven 15 minutes before placing the baking sheet in oven to bake). Turn off the upper burner before placing the baking sheet in the oven. Place the baking sheet in the oven (rack position the second from bottom), and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown in color on bottom, at this point I’ve turned on the upper burner and bake for 4 minutes so the top turned to golden brown

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Sugar Syrup

Prepare sugar syrup at same time of baking.

116, 117. In a pot put 1/8 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water, turn on heat and stir to dissolve, and keep stirring every once in a while.

118, 119. Once the mixture boils, add less than 1/8 tsp lemon juice. Let the mixture boil for 5 – 7 minutes, then turn off heat, and set aside.

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120, 121, 122, 123. Once you take the baking sheet out of the oven, immediately brush Ma’arouk with hot sugar syrup.

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124, 125, 126, 127. Once you take the baking sheet out of the oven, immediately brush Ma’arouk with hot sugar syrup.

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Serving

128. Allow Ma’arouk to cool, then serve. Serve with tea. It can be eaten plain or stuffed with (cheese, chocolate, Nutella…). Store Ma’arouk wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.

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Ma’arouk Ramadan

From: l2ma.com / Servings:
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

Starter

3/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup lukewarm milk

Dough

1 cup + 3/4 cup all purpose flour

14 g unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp corn oil

1/3 cup minus 1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup powdered milk

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground mahlab

1/4 tsp ground anise

1/4 tsp ground fennel

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup lukewarm milk

Date Filling

100 g date paste

25 g unsalted butter, softened

Coating

2 tbsp grape molasses

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp nigella seeds

Sugar Syrup

1/8 cup sugar

1/8 cup water

Less than 1/8 tsp lemon juice

Starter

In a bowl, put 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup all purpose flour.

Add 1/4 cup lukewarm milk, and mix ingredients with your hands until combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and with a cloth.

Keep the starter in a warm place for two hours to rise until double in size and bubbles appear on surface.

Dough

In a bowl, put 1 cup + 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 14 g softened unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons corn oil.

Mix ingredients with your hand until sand like mixture forms.

To the mixture, add 1/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup powdered milk, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

Add 1/2 teaspoon ground mahlab, 1/4 teaspoon ground anise , 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Transfer the mixture of dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer.

Add the starter to the dry ingredients.

Set the bowl in place and attach the dough hook to the mixer head, and turn the mixer on low speed to stir the dry ingredients and the starter.

With the motor running, add 1/2 cup lukewarm milk and run the mixer, kneading until a mass of dough is formed.

Continue kneading on medium-high speed until a smooth dough is formed

Turn out the dough to a surface and shape it into a ball.

Place the dough in a bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and with a cloth.

Keep the dough in a warm place for two hours to rise and double in size.

Weight of dough after doubled in size is 659 g.

Ma’arouk can be prepared in different shapes, the following steps will show you four different shapes. Note: this dough “659 g” is not enough to make all shapes, I prepared two batches of dough for this illustration.

Shape 1: Aqras Ma’arouk

Aqras is the main traditional shape in Aleppo.

Measure 150 g of dough.

Turn out the dough to a surface.

Shape the dough into a ball.

Flatten dough with your hand until you get a disc of 5 inch (14 cm) diameter and thickness of 7 mm.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer disc to it.

I made two discs (Aqras), each one weighs 150 g. Cover with cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Shape 2: Dfirah (Braid)

Measure 359 g of dough.

Divide dough into three equal pieces.

Turn out the dough to a surface.

Shape the three pieces of dough into ropes, each rope is 17 inch (45 cm) long.

Pinch all three pieces together on one end to secure, then braid the ropes together. Pinch the other end of the ropes to secure the braid. I used drops of water to seal both ends.

Transfer the braid into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Shape 3: Rolls

Measure 120 g of dough.

Turn out the dough to a surface.

Shape piece of dough into rope equal to 27 inch (70 cm) long.

Coil rope into a circle. I used drops of water to seal the end.

Transfer the roll into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

I made three rolls, each one weighs 120 g. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Shape 4: Ma’arouk Bet-Tamer (Ma’arouk With Date Paste)

Measure 100 g date paste.

Add 25 g softened unsalted butter to date paste.

Mix together until combined.

Measure two pieces of dough, each one weighs 150 g.

Turn out the dough to a surface.

Shape the dough into a ball.

Flatten dough with your roller until you get a disc of 8 inch (20 cm) diameter and thickness of 7 mm.

Both pieces of dough were shaped into discs.

Spread date paste on disc.

Make hole in the center of the filling.

Cover with the other disc, and seal the sides firmly.

Make hole in the center of the dough.

Use knife and cut circle into triangles, leave the center uncut.

Flip each triangle up, so the date filling will be toward you.

Carefully transfer Ma’arouk into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.

Coating

In a bowl, put 2 tablespoons grape molasses.

Add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds to molasses, and mix.

Once ma’arouk is doubled in size, so brush with mixture of molasses and seeds.

Baking

Heat the oven at 355°F (160 °C) (I’ve done this step of heating oven 15 minutes before placing the baking sheet in oven to bake). Turn off the upper burner before placing the baking sheet in the oven. Place the baking sheet in the oven (rack position the second from bottom), and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown in color on bottom, at this point I’ve turned on the upper burner and bake for 4 minutes so the top turned to golden brown

Sugar Syrup

Prepare sugar syrup at same time of baking.

In a pot put 1/8 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water, turn on heat and stir to dissolve, and keep stirring every once in a while.

Once the mixture boils, add less than 1/8 tsp lemon juice. Let the mixture boil for 5 – 7 minutes, then turn off heat, and set aside.

Once you take the baking sheet out of the oven, immediately brush Ma’arouk with hot sugar syrup.

Serving

Allow Ma’arouk to cool, then serve. Serve with tea. It can be eaten plain or stuffed with (cheese, chocolate, Nutella…). Store Ma’arouk wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.

Notes and Tips

The measurements of the recipe will make two Arqas Ma’arouk and one Dfirah (Braid). Or, three Rolls and one Ma’arouk Bet-Tamer (M’arouk With Date Paste).

When you measure sugar for the dough, make sure to measure (1/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon).

Read about Mahlab here.

Date paste is available in the markets as a block, look here, and here.

Here is a photo of grape molasses I used.

My oven is gas oven and it has two functions:
The oven upper burner “broiler”.
The oven bottom burner “bake function”.
I can turn on both of them together, and I can turn off one of them and keep the other on.

Store Ma’arouk wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. I kept Ma’arouk wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for a week and before serving I kept it at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, it tasted as fresh as the first day. I also stored a batch wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer, at time of serving allowed to thaw at room temperature, and it tasted as fresh as the first day.

 

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5 Responses to “To Aleppo With Love – Ma’arouk Ramadan”

  1. jamila says:

    Dimah,
    This looks amazing.
    I am hungry.
    If I don’t have grape molasses, what can I use instead?
    Thank you!

    • Dimah says:

      jamila: you can use date molasses.
      p.s: try to search for grape molasses in Turkish store.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words.

  2. Maria says:

    Dimah: this is an amazing tutorial! i can’t wait to try it! Ramadan Mubarak

  3. Z says:

    Wow, thank you for this recipe! My parents are originally from Aleppo and my mom was wanting to make Marouk for Ramadan. I never had it before so I am excited to try this :)

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