Traditionally baked low and slow overnight to be served for Shabbat breakfast- alongside hardboiled eggs and grated fresh tomato, of course- this pull-apart Yemenite bread is as beautiful as it is delicious. This particular recipe is delicately flavored, but black cumin and honey are traditional additions. A light and airy texture, similar to brioche, and the crispy crunch of the bottom crust has expanded this pastry’s appeal far beyond its Middle Eastern origins.
Ingredients for Meir Adoni's Kubaneh
- 3½ cups + 1 tablespoon (500 grams) flour
- 1.8 oz (50 grams) fresh yeast
- ½ cup (100 grams) Sugar
- 2½ teaspoons (20 grams) Salt fine
- 1 cup (240 ml) water lukewarm
- 1 egg
- 1.2 ounces (35 grams) butter room temperature
For greasing your work surface:
- 8.8 ounces (250 grams) butter room temperature
For the egg wash:
- A small amount of milk
- 1 egg beaten
1. Place all the dough ingredients, except for the butter, in a bowl. Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook, knead on a medium speed for about 15 minutes until the dough is elastic. Cover the dough with a towel and allow it to rise for 15 minutes.
2. Add the butter and knead for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise for another 15 minutes.
3. Knead the dough with the mixer for 3 minutes to reduce its volume.
4. Divide the dough into 3 parts and divide each part into 7 small balls that weigh around 1½ oz (40 grams) each (about the size of an apricot). Grease your work surface with a large amount of soft butter (it needs to be very greasy). Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball of dough and continue flattening it with your hands to form a rectangle. The rectangle should be as thin as possible, almost sheer, and its dimensions approximately 8"x10" ( 20x25cm). Spread a generous amount of butter on each rectangle, roll it into a log and then shape each log into a spiral shape (reminiscent of a snail).
5. Grease 3 pastry rings and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place 7 spirals next to one another in each ring (the entire space will be filled later on) and brush with the egg wash. Allow the kubaneh to rise for 1 to 2 hours until they are 4 times larger than their original size.
6. Heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC), place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until the kubaneh is deep brown in color. If you choose not to serve immediately, they can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days or in the freezer. Before serving, wrap in aluminum foil and heat them up in the oven.
Variation: the fresh yeast can be substituted with ½ ounce (15 grams) of instant dry yeast.
This recipe is courtesy of “Hashulchan” website.