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Basic Dough/Sweet Dough

These two master recipes can be used in making several different things. I love to use them when make rolls the most though. I use the sweet dough for things like cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats and the basic dough for more savory things. If you have a stand mixer you can use that just as well. Sadly mine will not work over here but I also love making dough in the processor, it works very well. And if you do not have those well just use your hands, you can not beat that anyway!

Basic Sweet Dough:
1-1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
½ cup warm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2-1/2-3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1 egg

1.In a food processor add flour warm water, yeast, milk, salt, sugar and egg. Pulse mixture until dough is soft. In a large bowl add a few drops of sunflower oil. Roll dough around in oil making sure its all covered. Place a towel over the bowl and leave in a very warm place for an hour or until doubled.

Basic Dough:
1-1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, soft
2-1/2-3 cups all purpose flour

1. In a food processor add flour, warm water, salt, sugar, yeast and the milk. Pulse to obtain a smooth dough. Add the butter and continue to process. If the dough is to stick which it should be add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. In a large bowl add a few drops of sunflower oil. Roll dough around in oil making sure its all covered. Place a towel over the bowl and leave in a very warm place for an hour or until doubled. Punch down dough and leave for 30 more minutes.


 Qashta is used in many Arabic desserts and many people eat it alone or with honey. It has a delicious thick and creamy taste. I have heard that you can make it by boiling full fat milk and allowing it to sit until the cream becomes solid on top. You could also substitute qashta for ricotta or cottage cheese although they really taste nothing alike it would work. This cooked version is what I think would work best in its place. You can substitute all rose or orange water instead but I think the two mix well together.

4 cups cream
1/4 cup water
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon blossom water
1 tablespoon rose water

1. In a 2-quart saucepan place cream, heat but DO NOT boil. In a small bowl add water and cornstarch, mixed until dissolved. Add to saucepan. Add sugar and mix with whisk until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and add blossom and rose water. Allow to cool.

Yields: 8 servings

Sugar Syrup

This is my master recipe for sugar syrup which we will use many times within my recipes. If you live in the Middle East you can buy this already made but this is simple and you can all make it at home and have as well. This stores well in your fridge for later usage as well.

2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rose water
1 teaspoon blossom water

1.In a 2 quart saucepan heat sugar and water and bring to a full boil on high. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring. Stir in lemon juice and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside to cool then add rose and blossom water.

Yields: 4 cups

Homemade Creamy Butter

I can still not believe that I made butter here at my house. I was never aware how easy it was before. It is simply astounding to me that milk=cream=butter. This butter is so smooth, creamy and oh, the taste is just sweet and alluring. This is a pretty swift and straightforward recipe and the outcome is that you have the best butter you will ever taste.

Since moving to Saudi Arabia, I found the butter here is not what I want. It is rock hard and bland. From now on, I will just buy my massive box of cream and make my own. I cannot wait to start adding flavors. I have already been imagining honey butter on hot warm bread. Oh and that bread I think I will be making tonight. I have to have fresh bread with my fresh butter, oh the enthusiasm I feel now.

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In medium Mason jar pour cream and salt, allow to sit at room temperature about 2 hours. Screw lid on tight and begin shaking constantly. Mine went from cream to what looked like ricotta in about 20 seconds. Continue to shake insanely. You will soon see what looks like butter on top of milk. Drain into a bowl with a strainer. The milk is now buttermilk, save this for later. In addition, the top is butter. You need to rinse butter well, squeeze out any liquid then shape as desired and place into freezer for 1 hour.

Yields: 1 cup