Lebanese Pocket Bread With Lamb Mince Sfeeha Filling Recipe

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sfeeha and yogurt cucumber salad in a serving dish Lebanese pocket bread with lamb mince sfeeha filling recipe

By The Shahrouk sisters
Difficulty not too difficult
Cooking time more than 2 hours
Serves 10 or more

This is a little like a Lebanese version of a meat pie. Certainly with the crust and the filling, it’s a perfect meal.


Lebanese pocket bread
1 cup warm water
7g packet dry yeast
1 tablespoon white sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
500g plain bakers flour
1 heaped teaspoon salt
extra flour, for dusting

Sfeeha filling
2 ripe red tomatoes, finely diced
2 small brown onions, finely diced
200g beef or lamb mince
1/3 bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 sprigs mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 small red chilli, finely chopped, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, to drizzle


1. For the Lebanese pocket bread, place warm water, yeast, sugar, oil and 2 tablespoons of flour in a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Cover and place in a warm spot for 5 minutes or until yeast forms bubbles and the mixture has doubled in size.

2. Pour mixture into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and while the motor is running on a low speed gradually add the sifted flour and salt. Once all the flour is added increase speed to medium high/high and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is nice and stretchy. Remove from the bowl, turn out onto a lightly floured bench or board and knead gently for 20-30 seconds to shape into a ball. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave to rest in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Turn the risen dough onto lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough to knock down then break into 12 even pieces, shaping each piece into a ball. Place on a large oiled tray, sprinkle with flour, gently cover with a dry cloth and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

4. To make 12 rounds of pocket bread, take a ball of dough and roll out to a circle around 20cms in diameter. Dust with flour and place on a flat baking tray. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden OR to make the uncooked pocket bread dough into sfeeha, see method that follows.

5. To make 8 serves of sfeeha, preheat panggangan to 200°C. Take 8 small balls of pocket bread dough and roll out to 20cm rounds around 2mm thick.

6. Prepare the sfeeha filling by placing the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and mix to combine.

7. Transfer rounds to a lightly floured tray, divide the filling mixture into 8 and spread 1/8 of the filling over one dough disc, leaving a 1-2cm edge. Crimp the edges if desired. Repeat with the remaining 7 balls of dough and filling.

8. Bake sfeeha, in batches, in the panggangan for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a drizzle of oil and sea salt as desired.

Image and recipe courtesy of the Shahrouk sisters for Family Food Fight

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