- Flour250 Gram(s)Fine sifted
- Water350 Milliliter(s)
- Saffron Powder2 Pinch
- Dry Baking Yeast3 Gram(s)
- Salt1 Pinch
- Sugar250 Gram(s)
- Honey2 Teaspoon(s)
- Lemon1/2 Piece(s)zest
- Orange Blossom Water1 Cup(s)
Zlabia is an oriental sweetness found throughout the Maghreb. The recipes vary according to the country, region or family secrets but they all have in common their beautiful orange and brilliant color as well as an intertwined appearance.
Since zlabia dough requires a very long rest time, it should be prepared two days in advance. Finding “your” good recipe and the right helping hand is quite difficult when you embark on the creation of homemade zlabia for the first time.
Prepare the zlabia dough
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients well with a wooden spoon: flour, water, orange blossom, yeast, salt and saffron. You get a fairly sticky paste.
Cover and let stand for 2 hours.
After this time, work a second time the mixture with a spatula to obtain a sticky and slightly viscous paste.
Cover it again and this time let it rise at temperature for at least 24 hours and if possible 2 or 3 days.
During this period, degas several times to remove air bubbles.
As the dough becomes more and more flexible and fluid, almost liquid.
When there is no more air and the dough no longer rises, it is ready.
Prepare the honey syrup
Pour the sugar into a saucepan and add the water. Mix well and bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat and cook the syrup gently, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add the honey and the saffron, mix to dissolve it in the syrup.
For similar recipes check out Kalburabasti the Turkish Nut Cake
Reserve off the heat and add the orange blossom water just before using the zlabia syrup.
Fry the zlabias
Heat a frying oil bath.
Pour the dough into a small fine beak funnel or into a pastry bag with a smooth, narrow nozzle (personally i use a ketchup bottle). If the dough is too dense, thin it with a little water.
With your hand, seal the end of the funnel or the pastry bag so that the dough does not flow.
When you are above the oil bath, release the end and quickly draw by crossing volutes, an irregular dough spiral of about 10 cm with the funnel or the pastry bag. Fry 2 or 3 zlabias at most at the same time to have time.
Let each zlabia fry for a few minutes, turning it several times.
Take them out as you go and immediately dip them in lukewarm honey syrup.
For more delicious Tunisian desserts check out Youyou (Tunisian Donuts)
Reserve them on a rack placed on a tray. The syrup will dry.
Measure the saffron according to the desired color or use food coloring.