Qaghaq tal-hmira

Qaghaq tal-hmira are Maltese tea treats. The name translates into yeast rings; these rings are delicious brioche-type rings topped with sesame seeds and baked for not more than 15 minutes. The longest part of the preparation is the resting time.

Even though we are used to eating these rings in the colder months with some tea or coffee, try making these rings for a day at the beach and they will be devoured in no time!

Here is what you need to make approximately 20 rings of about 7 cm in diameter.

500g plain flour
200g caster sugar
200g butter
11g  dried yeast
½ tsp aniseed
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla powder
Grated zest of 1 lemon lemon
180ml luke warm water
1 egg
Sesame Seeds

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and add the lemon zest. Using your hands, rub in the butter until you have a sandy mixture. You can use a mixer with a dough hook for this.

Next add the water a little at a time to form a dough and knead it for about 10 mins. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for about 1 to 2 hours or even overnight.

Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a floured surface. Next cut small pieces of pastry and roll them round to form a long pipe. Twist the pipe around to form a ring and place it on your baking dish. Once all the rings have been formed, allow them to rest for another hour. Do not worry if the rings puff up and touch each other.

Now brush the top with eggwash (1 egg beaten with a fork) and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for not more than 15 minutes. The rings should be browned on top but still soft when you touch them.

These rings are best served warm but will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.