Zalebieh Or Lebanese Doughnuts

8 Nov

To celebrate the ending of the olive harvest, the housewives prepare a sweet  dough, Zalebieh, that is fried in the new olive oil. This is the tradition at my village. It is the Lebanese way of preparing doughnuts.

Even though, there is still few days to finish the olive pressing, my mom wanted to prepare the sweets during the past weekend since we were there.

I love the Zalebieh alot, I love its texture, its flavor. We use different kinds of spices. Nutmeg, anise, mahlab. The dough is kneaded few times and is left wrapped with warm clothes for few hours to rise.

This time, we fried the doughs in olive oil, the new pressed one, two weeks aged. I felt something spicy when I took the first bite, an unusual taste, not related to the spices we used which weren’t that spicy. This sharp strong taste goes to the taste of olive oil. I remembered that feeling when I first tasted the olive oil, plain, I felt something sharp, hot at the back of my mouth. It was a tasty great flavor.

Soft & chewy from the inside and crunchy from the outside

I would like to share with you this “delicious” picture since the main topic is “new olive oil”. This bread is baked on the saj, it is used for the man’oushe, a very delicious breakfast dough topped with zaatar mixture. So I dipped this fresh warm plain bread in the olive oil, and you won’t believe how delicious it is. Extremely delicious.


Before I end this post, I would like to say that I added in the previous post, Olive Harvest,  two pictures that I couldn’t shoot last weekend because it rained and it was impossible to go olive harvesting. So I went the past weekend to the field, and I helped the guys a little and took these two pictures.


– 1 kilo bread flour

– 1 tsp mahlab

– 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

– 1 tsp ground anis

– 2 tsp dry yeast

– 1 1/2 cup sugar

– 1 cup warm water or more till the dough looks loose

– sesame to sprinkle

– olive oil, for frying

Mix all the dry ingredients together then add the water and knead few times. The dough doesn’t form a whole ball like making bread but is little more loose. Then set aside in a warm place for few hours to rise.

Heat the olive oil, sprinkle some sesame over the dough and with your fingers grab a small ball, form a long piece like in the picture then fry it on both sides.

Enjoy it warm.


6 Responses to “Zalebieh Or Lebanese Doughnuts”

  1. Mireille Fares November 9, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Salut Maria!!! we really shared with you this “Delecious Picture”. We made in our village, not only “Saj”, we still make “Tannour Bread”. I will bring it with me once i get there , and i’ll give it to Georges. Superbe BLOG!!!

    • Fragolina November 9, 2010 at 10:52 am #

      Thank you Mireille!! At my village, we only make saj bread, but I ate once the tannour bread and I like it, delicious. 🙂

  2. George November 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I had great time, maybe this weekend we’ll lend them a hand or two with the picking. They say that it’s hard to find gold but I guess you found a unique kind of gold….the oily one :).

    What will we try next with the oil, I wonder? 🙂

    • Fragolina November 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

      Yes we’ll help them also this weekend!! Indeed, it is pure gold! 🙂


  1. Olive Harvest « Fragole E Farfalle - December 20, 2011

    […] call it “tartine zaatar”. There is also this tradition to fry some sweet dough, called Zalebieh, in the first new crop of olive oil. Our village is surrounded by olive […]

  2. Awwamat Or Crisp Doughnut Balls « Fragole E Farfalle - January 6, 2011

    […] await this time of year impatiently, why, because I love the desserts we make. At home, we prepare zalebieh, maacroun, and awwamat. It’s a fried small doughs, ball- shaped, made with few ingredients, […]

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