In Israel, the arrival of Spring brings with it the smoky smell of Lag BaOmer bonfires. The outdoorsy Jewish holiday falls on May 3 this year, and where there will be fire, there will be creative outdoor cooking. In honor of Israel’s Jaffa oranges, here is a recipe for a truly sabra Lag BaOmer treat. This year you may try buns cooked in orange peels in the embers. If you do not have time to prepare the dough in advance, use refrigerated dough from the supermarket or brownie, cake, or muffin mix. If lighting a bonfire near where you live is completely out of the question, the outdoor grill or fire pit will do.
Orange Infused Buns
Ingredients for yeast dough:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. rapid rise yeast
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips, almonds, pecans, cranberries, raisins, or a combination.
Preparation for the yeast dough:
- In a large bowl combine the water, sugar, and yeast.
- Set aside to rest in a warm place for 15-minutes.
- Mix in the flour, salt, and oil.
- Knead the dough for 10-minutes.
- Add the chocolate chips, nuts, and/or dry fruits.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes.
- Oil a large bowl.
- Transfer the dough, and turn over to coat with oil.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place.
- Allow the dough to rise for 1-hour.
- Punch down the dough.
- Allow to rise again for 45-minutes.
Preparation for the the Jaffa oranges or navel oranges:
- Slice the oranges in half.
- juice the oranges.
- Fill an orange half with yeast (or other) dough.
- Close with another orange half.
- Wrap with 3-layers of aluminum foil.
- Place in the bonfire, and cover with hot coals.
- Cook the dough for 30-minutes.
- Unwrap the orange.
As you peel back the aluminum foil you will find piping hot, smoky steamed buns (or cakes) permeated with the flavor of the orange. Enjoy eating them with a spoon.