When Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories, the host of this month’s Bread Baker’s challenge announced the theme, I was super excited. The theme was middle eastern breads. As I was doing a lot of research on breads for last month’s flat bread marathon, I knew what I had to make. The breads from Yemen are so good and I have tried a few from the cuisine. And I also wanted to try some more. The first time I came across Kubaneh was in Food 52, and I wanted to try it immediately. But after reading the post, I went in search for the authentic method of baking. I love recreating bread and read about the authentic version before attempting it at home. Though Food 52 had a great recipe, they baked the breads as usual rolls. But Kubaneh are to be baked over night on a low temperature oven so that you wake up to freshly baked warm bread just out of oven.
Kubaneh are yeasted pull apart bread rolls baked over night by the Yemenite Jews for breakfast or brunch on Sabbath. These are baked in special aluminium pans with lids. These rolls are served with a spicy Zhug – a condiment made with garlic, chillies and tomato or with sugar. There are so many versions of kubaneh. Some are shaped like monkey breads whereas some are layered and made as pull apart breads. On regular week days, kubaneh are made out of sorghum flour or corn meal but on Sabbath, they are made of wheat flour. The outer part of the rolls are so crisp while the inside crumb is soft.
I was searching a lot in YouTube and Pinterest for authentic recipes. I came across so many posts and interesting videos which gave me an idea about these rolls. I also read some failure stories by bloggers, so I wasn’t sure how my rolls would be. I was confident until the shaping and proving part, but was so confused at the baking stage. Once when I set my oven to the lowest for baking almonds, there was some problem with thermostat, and my oven heated up like crazy and burned all the almonds. I didn’t want that to be repeated with these rolls. So I started making the dough in the morning and by 10 AM the rolls were in oven. I baked it for 8 hours and still it was slighly brown. It didn’t brown like the photos I saw. So I had to do some improvising. For the final 30 minutes, I set the oven to 150°C. And 200°C for the last five minutes. That gave the perfect crispy crust and the golden colour. As the whole dough is layered with butter and finally brushed with butter, the rolls were so buttery. Make sure to serve these warm straight out of oven. With so much of baking time, when cool the rolls tend to go harder. I used the recipe from Food 52 but the baking was inspired by so many online videos I watched.
Maida / All Purpose Flour – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 tbs
Instant Yeast – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 1/4 tsp
Water – 2/3 cup
Butter – 1/2 cup
In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
Add water and mix to form a sticky dough.
Knead the dough on counter for ten minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place it in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside for 1 hour or until double in volume.
Now punch down the dough and divide it into 8 equal portions.
Roll each portion into a tight ball and place them on the counter.
Cover with cling film and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Apply butter on both sides of the ball and start stretching it. Stretch it as thin as possible with the help of butter.
A small hole here and there is not a proble.
Once the ball is stretched thin, fold it like a letter to make a long rectangle.
Starting from one edge, roll it into a tight cylinder.
Now slice the cylinder into two.
Grease an 8″ springform tin with butter and place the rolls cut side up.
Repeat it with the remaining seven rounds.
Once the tin is filled with the rolls, cover it with cling film and set aside for 30 – 45 minutes.
Now melt a tablespoon of butter and apply on top of the rolls.
Preheat oven to its lowest temperature setting.
Cover the spring form tin with an aluminium foil both on top and the bottom.
Bake the rolls for 8 – 10 hours or until nicely browned.
Allow it to cool in the pan itself.
Serve it with a spicy side.
I have included a video on shaping the rolls. Hope you find it useful.
- Baked Pita Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Eggless Challah Bread from Cook with Renu
- Fatayer Jebneh (Arabic Cheese Pie) from Food Lust People Love
- Garlic Butter Glazed Talami Bread from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Jerusalem Bagels from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Kaak from Ambrosia
- Khobz Al Khameer (Traditional Emirati Bread) from Ruchik Randhap
- Kubaneh from Gayaythri’s Cook Spot
- Laffa from Sizzling Tastebuds
- Manakeesh from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Maneesh from The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen
- Nan-e_Barbari from Anybody Can Bake
- Omani Maldouf Date Bread from The Schizo Chef
- Rose Shaped Dinner Rolls – Turkish Pogaca Pastry from Sneha’s Recipe
- Tahinli Ekmek | Turkish Tahini Bread from Bread and Dreams
- Vegetarian Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza Snack) from Cook’s Hideout
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.