Cheese Sfiha cheese sfiha in a bowl caption

The new school year is almost here, which means it’s time to start thinking about what to pack in your little ones’ lunch boxes as you send them off to new adventures! While preparing my own list of options for my little one, this cheese sfiha recipe crossed my mind and fond memories of my mom and me came flooding back. On a late afternoon at the mall together, we munched on the fun snack topped with lime wedges, and washed it all down with refreshing pineapple mint juice.

Sfiha or esfiha is a small baked pie that originated in Syria and Lebanon and is now enjoyed in other Middle Eastern countries such as Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Syrian and Lebanese immigrants brought the delicacy to Brazil where it became wildly popular and eventually made its way to the ovens of Argentina.

Although the sfiha is always made with dough and baked in the oven, the traditional recipe has evolved into several versions. Fillings can be beef, mutton, cheese, curd, or seasoned vegetables. Any delicious combination that delights your palate can work!

The version I enjoyed as a child was made with ricotta cheese and spinach filling, so I naturally thought I’d share my tradition with my sweet toddler. Apparently he has no interest in ricotta or spinach – even after I dipped the treat in chocolate – so I had to adapt it to his picky taste while maintaining the ideal consistency. You can be creative and adapt the filling according your taste too! cheese sfiha ingredients template

Directions for the filling: cheese sfiha filling directions cheese sfiha directions

Directions for the dough: cheese sfiha dough directions collage template for dough directions sfiha dough direction collage II dough directions continue cheese sfiha filling the dough directions cheese sfiha dough directions III

Directions for baking:

PicMonkey Image cheese sfiha directions for baking

Cheese Sfiha

  • Servings: 21-23 cheese sfihas
  • Print


  • Cheese filling:
  • 330g of queso fresco
  • 100g of feta cheese
  • 10 thin slices of ham
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp of dry parsley
  • Dough ingredients:
  • 500g all purpose flour
  • 300ml / 1 1/4 cup of warm milk
  • 20g of active dry yeast
  • 10g of salt
-30g of sugar
  • 50g / 1 Tbsp of butter
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp of water

Directions for the filling:

1. Chop the cheese and ham using a knife or a food processor. Since both cheeses are salty, adding salt is optional.

2. Add the onion, egg, and olive oil to the cheese-ham mix. Combine well with a spoon until mixture has a pasty consistency.

3. Form cheese paste into Tbsp-sized balls.

4. Cover with plastic and allow to rest in the fridge while you work the dough. This improves the consistency and allows the flavors to blend.

Directions for the dough:

1. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in the warm milk (110°-115°). Add the active dry yeast. Stir and let stand covered for 10 minutes until foamy

2.Place flour, salt, melted butter and yeast foam in bowl of stand mixer. Attach dough hook to mixer. Mix until dough forms into a manageable mass. Continue kneading for 5 minutes.

3.Transfer dough to a floured surface and finish kneading until dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky. Form a large ball.

4.Coat all sides with vegetable oil. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

5. Punch dough down with your first.

6. Transfer to a floured surface and shape the dough into a long roll.

7. Cut the dough in 2-inch pieces. Cover with a  clean cloth and allow to rest. This prevents dough from drying out.

8.Roll out the 2-inch pieces dough with a roller pin.

9.Cut the dough into circles with a cutter. I used a 5″cookie cutter.

10. Place the cheese filling in the center.

11. Fold the edges towards the center to form a pyramid or triangular shape.

12. Gently push the center down so the filling spreads to the corners and the air escapes through the still-open edges.

13. Starting from the center and moving to the outer tips, seal the dough by pinching the open edges together with your fingers.

14. Let sfihas rest for at least 10 minutes while preheating the oven to 200°C /400° F. Re-pinch the sealed edges to ensure they are tight. Place them on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet with enough space between each one to allow them to puff up as they bake. Brush the dough with egg wash.

15. Bake the sfihas for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lil says:

    Your blog is a true work of art. The photos are so beautiful and you actually make the process seem pretty easy. I’m gonna give this recipe a go.
    I just would like to know whether we can freeze the sfihas? and how?


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