For the dough:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for the dough
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- A pinch of salt
- ¾ cup lukewarm water
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1 egg lightly beaten with a drop of vinegar, to brush the dough before baking
To proof the yeast:
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons of lukewarm water to proof the yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar to help activate the yeast
For the filling:
- 2 lbs dates
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- To proof the yeast: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast with the lukewarm water and sugar. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes. You will notice a bubbly foam on the surface. This is an indication that your yeast is fresh and not expired
To make the dough:
- In a large ceramic or glass bowl, add the flour, salt and cardamom powder. Mix with your hands.
- Heat the sunflower oil a bit and add to the flour mixture.
- Mix in the ¾ cup of lukewarm water, and finally add the proofed yeast. Knead the mixture well until you end up with a malleable dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 11/2 hours.
For the filling:
- Pull open the dates and remove the pits using a serrated knife. Roughly cut the dates; add the cardamom powder, oil and butter and mix well. Transfer the date mixture to a food processor and blend to get a paste. (You may probably need to do that in batches)
- Divide the date paste into 10 equal portions. Make 10 long logs of the date about 20 cm/ 9 inches long. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside
To put together:
- When the dough has doubled in size, divide it into 10 equal portions. Make a long log with each dough , about 15 cm/6 inches long. Sprinkle some flour on a counter top and stretch it with a rolling pin to a 22 cm/9 inches long.
- Place the each date log over the flattened dough.
- Gently close the dough around the date paste, pinching it to seal.
- Roll the stuffed log back and forth several times to smooth it.
- Cut each log about 7-8 portions, then transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each with the egg.
- Sprinkle some sesame seeds on topof each kleciha.
- Repeat with the other dough and date paste.
- Preheat the oven to 400° and bake for 12-15 minutes or to a golden color.