½ cup (125 ml) warm water
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp/11 ml) active dry yeast
2 cup (500 ml) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 ml) fennel seeds
½ tsp (2 ml) black onion seeds or black cumin seeds
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cardamom
¼ cup (50 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 ml) ground pitted dates
1 egg yolk, beaten
¼ cup (50 ml) sesame seeds
1. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In small bowl, stir together warm water and salt; sprinkle yeast over top. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together flour, fennel seeds, black onion seeds and cardamom until combined. Add oil and yeast mixture; using hands, mix together until soft dough forms. Cover bowl with damp clean tea towel; let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Turn dough out onto floured surface. Punch down dough with closed hands. Form a walnut-sized ball of dough; make an indent in centre of dough using your finger. Fill indent with ground date paste; wrap dough around date paste to seal. Roll out ball into a 2 ½-inch (6 cm) circle; place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and date paste for a total of 24 cookies. Brush with egg yolk; sprinkle with sesame seeds. One baking sheet at a time, bake in centre of oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.