There is one bread that my grandmother, Yeranuhe Nanny, made that was truly outstanding -- Banerov Hatz (Cheese-Onion Bread) -- another one of her labor-of-love recipes.
You knew a special event was just around the corner when Nanny started to chop so many onions. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
If you've never heard of Banerov Hatz, picture this: rectangular pizza dough rolled as thin or thick as you like, then smothered with some of the cheese-onion topping, baked until the dough is slightly crisp on the edges and golden on the bottom, the onions are tender, and the cheese is soft and slightly melted. The aroma is heavenly - and the taste, even better!
(FYI: My personal preference: thin crust.)
|Nanny's Banerov Hatz (Onion-cheese Bread)|
Banerov Hatz (Cheese-Onion Bread)
Yield: about 7 loaves
1 pkg. dry yeast
5 lb. bag pre-sifted flour
½ c. oil
1 ½ tsp salt
Water (about 5 cups)
Directions for dough preparation:
1. Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water.
2. In large bowl combine flour, oil, salt, dissolved yeast, and enough water to make a smooth dough. (The amount of water you use isn’t exact. There may be some trial-and error involved here.)
3. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl.
4. Lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover, and let rise for 30 minutes to an hour.
5. Divide dough into 7 balls, keeping them covered until ready to use. (Short on time? Buy prepared pizza dough in your local grocery store!)
Cheese-Onion Topping Ingredients:
2 lbs cottage cheese
4 to 5 lbs finely chopped onions (Frozen, chopped onions that are defrosted can be used, but that’s cheating!)
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. red pepper paste (Note: Red pepper paste can be purchased in some Middle Eastern stores. If it is unavailable, you can use tomato paste, but something will be lost in the substitution. **A recipe for making your own red pepper paste is below.)
about 1/2 cup olive oil
1.Combine cottage cheese and some of the red pepper paste to achieve a reddish color.
2. In a separate bowl add onions, blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and seasonings, mixing well.
3. Add the cottage cheese and stir well.
1. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. Roll out one ball of dough into a rectangular shape large enough to fit into the baking sheet.
3. Spread cheese filling on the dough to about 1/2-inch from the edge.
4. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until dough is golden brown on the bottom and around the edges (approx. 20 minutes).
5. Continue this procedure until all 7 loaves are done.
6. Cool each loaf completely on wire racks.
7. To serve: cut into large squares (roughly 3“x3“).
8. To store: completely cool, cut each loaf into squares. Wrap and freeze. When ready to serve, defrost in the refrigerator, then heat in a 350°F oven until warm.
**Homemade Red Pepper Paste
Yield: about ½ cup
1 (24 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (add more if you like more heat, but be careful!)
Dash of paprika
Olive oil, for later use
1. After draining the peppers, cut them into smaller pieces.
2. Grind in a food processor, using the metal S-blade. Place ground peppers in a colander and squeeze out any excess liquid.
3.Place the ground peppers in a bowl. Stir in the salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
4. Spread the mixture in a large, non-stick skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook, stirring periodically for about 45 minutes, or until the pepper mixture begins to resemble a thick paste. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
5. Spoon the red pepper paste into a container that has a lid. Pour a little olive oil over the top of the paste. Cover tightly, and refrigerate. This should keep for about one week.
NOTE: At this point you can freeze the red pepper paste. The trick is to use a plastic ice cube tray. Place about a tablespoonful of paste in each ice cube compartment. Freeze. When solid, place individual pepper paste cubes in a plastic freezer bag. When ready to use, remove the number of red pepper paste cubes you need and defrost in the refrigerator. Keep the other cubes frozen until needed.