Bread making is therapeutic – I was up before dawn of unsettling times , it seemed quiet and restful with no perception of the virus. Pulled out my favorite cookbook to plan ahead for 5 adults working/studying from home before my own workday started. I found this beautiful Ka’ak recipe in @palestineonaplate cookbook which is a Palestinian sesame bread.
Ka’ak is the Arabic word for cake for a type of bread that is made in the shape of a handbag or a large ring , covered with sesame seeds
My bread was ready by lunch and when everyone got off their conference calls and online classes there was warm bread to feed the soul <3. Served with home made za’atar and olive oil .. Can’t explain in words how beautiful was this bread and better yet the coming together of the family to this simple lunch.
This recipe is slightly modifies from the Palestine on a Plate cookbook but stays pretty true to the origin of the recipe.
I have used mostly whole wheat flour with some white flour, probably 3 to 1 proportion. You need to adjust the flour and water consistency to what works in your climate. The dough after kneading should be soft and be able to spring back.
Here is Joudie Kalla’s recipe slightly adapted to my taste:
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup whole yoghurt
2 tbsp instant yeast
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
7 cups flour plus more for managing the dough
1 – 2 cups of sesame seeds
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water for egg wash
Bring the the milk, water and yogurt at a warm temperature
Add the yeast and the sugar and let it sit for about 5 mins until bubbles form and you can see the yeast coming alive.
Add the salt and olive oil and start kneading the dough. I used a mixer with a dough attachment for about 5 -7 minutes.
Adjust the water or extra flour until the dough comes together and bounces back.
Leave it to rise in a well oiled bowl for 2 hours ( until it doubles in size)
Punch the dough down
and make about 12 balls from the dough on a tray. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.
Meanwhile get your oven hot to about 475 degrees F.
Dust your surface with flour and roll out each ball to an oval shape. Cut a hole on the top to form a handle.
Brush egg wash on top of the bread and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pat them down.
I baked two at a time on a tray.
It took about 12 minutes for each to puff up and brown. You have to watch it really closely or you will burn them.
Serve with Zaatar, olive oil and cheese.
This bread lifted our spirits as we all adjusted to a new way of living. Some had it dipped in home made za’atar and olive oil and others with cheese and hummus. It brought peace for a moment,
Peace and love to all
Sharing this at Fiesta Friday.