Friday, February 8, 2013

Lebanese Ka'ak


Ka'ak can refer to a bread commonly consumed throughout the Near East that is made in a large ring-shape and is covered with sesame seeds. Kaak is the street bread that Tripolitan love more than anything else. Widely sold by street vendors, it is usually eaten as a snack or for breakfast with za'atar. Kaak is delivered to all the cart vendors throughout the city.  You buy it and they will fill it with a choice of zaatar or cheese.  




When we visit Egypt - the bread dude always comes down our street - especially when he knows we're there !  Doesn't matter what floor we're on (our family home there has 5 floors) - he'll call out until we answer.  If we are upstairs - we simply toss some $$ in a basket and lower it down to the street from an upstairs window.  He always fills the basket with way more than we've paid for!  When Ramadan comes - we make sure to give him more $$$ then it's possible to give us bread - and if he has one of his children with him, we always send one of our own kids down with money for the kids to buy sweets and a gift for his mum ! 

INGREDIENTS:

2 package active dry yeast ( if I am using 120gm of wild yeast starter I use less yeast)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 1/2 - 7 cups all purpose flour
1 egg +1 teaspoon water
3/4 cup sesame seed

PREPARATION:

Dissolve yeast in warm large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto generously flour surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 50 minutes. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. Punch dough down to release the gas, gather again and let it rest for the second time till doubled. Be very patient and let the dough rest for couple of hours or even more... divide to 8 equal parts. Roll over some wheat or bran flour to get more authentic , and texture shape, either the shape of a round handbag, (this is what we used to call them when we were children) or into long rope; moisten ends with water. Bring ends of rope together, and pinch to form rings about 6 inches in diameter. Beat egg and 2 teaspoons water with fork. Spread sesame seed on dinner plate. Brush each ring with egg mixture; dip into sesame seed. Place rings, sesame seed side up, on large greased cookie sheets. Cover loosely; let rise until double, about 30 - 1 hour for the rings, for the rounds let them rest again, at least two hours more. Cover the baking tray with plastic to keep them moist.

Heat oven to 500F . ADD the baking trays upside down and warm them in the oven as well, When the oven is ready, lower the heat to 450F . sprinkle some wheat or bran on the trays and carefully move the kaak and Bake them for 20 to 25 mimutes or until golden brown and puffed.

a deep pan with water in it will also help crunch the kaak and give a nice golden color

suggestion on serving the kaak: open the pocket from the back and sprinkle oregano mix (zaatar) or Sumac, or mix sumac and Dakkah . Also good with Halloumi Cheese, or Cream Cheese

Recipe by Phoenician Gourme

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