Yeast Rings (Qagħaq tal-ħmira )

 

 

Ingredients

 

600g plain flour

1500g sugar

150g margarine

1 packet dried instant yeast + 1 teaspoon sugar

½ tsp aniseed

vanilla essence

grated rind of 1 orange and tangerine

lukewarm water

sesame seeds

 

 

Method

 

  1. In a jug, mix the yeast and sugar into the water and leave in a fairly warm place free of draughts, till it becomes frothy.

 

  1. Sieve the flour in a large bowl and rub in the margarine till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add sugar, essence, aniseeds and grated peel.  Mix thoroughly and make a well in the centre.

 

  1. Pour in the yeast and bring the flour mixture in gradually from the sides.  Keep on mixing till you have used all the flour.  If you see that the dough is too dry add a little freshly squeezed orange juice.

 

  1. Knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough.  The sides of the bowl should be clean.

 

  1. Dust the dough lightly with flout and place it in a large mixing bowl.  Leave it in a warm place to rise.  This will take about 2 hours.

 

  1. Preheat the oven 1900C, Gas Mark 5.

 

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size knock it back and knead it until it is elastic again.

 

  1. Break off pieces roughly the size of a small ball and roll each one into a thin sausage-shape.  Twist them into a circle, moisten the edges and press them tightly together.  The hole in the middle of the rings must be quite big otherwise it will close up during baking.

 

  1. Brush the tops of the rings with a little water and sprinkle the sesame seeds on them.

 

10. Place these rings on a greased baking tray; or else line it with baking paper.

 

11. Leave them to rise again in warm place for about another hour.  Do not worry if the rings puff up and join each other.

 

12. Bake for not more than 15 minutes.  The rings should be golden brown on top but still soft when you touch them.

 

13. Once they are completely cold you can put them in a airtight container and they will keep fresh for about 3-4 days.