This classic Persian sweet is made from a light, airy choux pastry that is deep-fried until golden and crisp, and then soaked in saffron simple syrup. Picture a churro that is soaked in simple syrup instead of rolled in cinnamon sugar.
Bamieh is rolled in a thickened simple syrup, which adds an irresistible sweetness and a sticky layer that helps keep the Bamieh moist. Serve with Persian tea for a delightful afternoon snack!
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Why this Recipe Works
Bamieh dough is essentially a choux pastry, but this recipe uses water instead of the milk in the dough because Bamieh don’t need the extra browning that comes from the proteins in the milk.
This recipe uses butter and was tested using butter and vegetable oil. Although it works either way, the batches using vegetable oil yield a runny dough that is difficult to pipe.
We fry the bamieh in oil kept between 355 and 275 degrees giving you a crunchy exterior and a chewy interior, which is the perfect texture. You can use an instant-read thermometer.
Read more about my favorite instant-read thermometer.
Instead of frying until golden brown, this recipe goes for a dark golden brown exterior. That way, they are still porous enough to soak up the simple syrup and firm enough to hold their shape.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Butter – Use unsalted butter for this recipe. You can replace the butter with vegetable oil, but it yields a runny batter that is difficult to pipe.
Honey – You can substitute sugar. Just make sure it dissolves completely in the water before adding the flour.
Vegetable oil – Used for frying. You can also use canola.
Rosewater – This is an optional addition. Rose water cannot be substituted with rose extract.
Saffron – Here is a brand of saffron you can buy online. If you live near a Middle Eastern market, I recommend purchasing it there.
I describe different brands of Persian pantry staples I like to buy that you might find helpful when shopping for some of these ingredients.
How to Make this Recipe
For anyone new to Bamieh, the dough is choux pastry dough, and the steps to make them are very similar to making churros. The dough is fried and then soaked in simple syrup rather than rolled in cinnamon sugar as churros are.
Saffron simple syrup
Start by making the simple syrup since it needs ample time to cool. Mix together the sugar, water, and (optional) rosewater in a saucepan over medium heat.
Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water. Let it come to a light simmer, but not a rolling boil.
Once all sugar is dissolved, let the simple syrup simmer for 2-3 minutes to slightly thicken. Then, remove the syrup from the heat.
Make the choux pastry
The next step is to add the water, butter, and honey to a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir all together until the mixture just barely comes to a boil.
Turn heat to medium-low and add all the flour in one go. Mix well with a silicone or wooden spoon and quickly to absorb all the liquid and bring the mixture all together for about 3-5 minutes.
Note: The dough will clump together and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. It is ready when the wooden spoon can stand upright when you stick it in the dough.
Let it cool for 3-5 minutes, but not completely. Then add the egg, mixing well, this works best with an electric hand or stand mixer. The dough should be extremely smooth.
Fry & soak
Heat 1 ½ inches of oil in a large pot or deep skillet. The oil for this recipe should stay between 355 and 375. You can use your instant-read thermometer.
Pipe using a ½-inch star-tip (I use Ateco #826) and cut into 1-inch lengths using oiled scissors straight into the oil. Fry until rich dark golden brown all over (past where you probably think they're ready), ~5 minutes.
Important note: If you don't fry them long enough, they will soften after a few hours.
Bamieh are deep-fried small bites of dough that are soaked in a simple syrup. They are often served as little treats to eat with tea.
This ensures a uniform cook in your Bamieh. If too low, the bamieh can absorb excess oil and become greasy. If too high, your bamieh may burn on the outside before the inside is properly cooked.
Bamieh and Zoolbia are both traditional Persian sweets made with a dough that is fried and then coated with a simple syrup.
Zoolbia has a fermented batter containing yogurt, whereas Bamieh has a choux pastry batter. They differ in shape and texture, as Zoolbia is piped into the oil in small strands rather than one, thick piece.
Don't let your Bamieh get lonely – these Persian recipes will keep them in tasty company!
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- ½ cup water 120ml
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter 28g
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup all-purpose flour 65g
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil or canola, for frying
Saffron Simple Syrup
- Mix the sugar, water, and optional rosewater together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water. Let it come to a light simmer, but not a rolling boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes to slightly thicken.
- Then, remove the syrup from the heat. Add in your ground saffron and let it steep until ready to use.
Choux Pastry Dough
- Add water, butter, and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture just barely comes to a boil.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add all the flour in one go. Mix well with a silicone or wooden spoon and quickly to absorb all the liquid and bring the mixture all together for about 3-5 minutes**.
- Let it cool for 3-5 minutes, but not completely. Then add the egg, mixing well with an electric hand or stand mixer. The dough should be extremely smooth.
Fry & soak
- Heat 1 ½ inches of oil in a large pot or deep skillet. The oil for this recipe should stay between 355 and 275.
- Pipe using a ½-inch star-tip*** and cut into 1-inch lengths using oiled scissors straight into the oil. Fry until rich dark golden brown all over, 3-5 minutes.
- Soak the bamieh in the syrup for about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.