Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Khaliat Nahal - HoneyComb Buns | We Knead to Bake #9

Khaliat al Nahal is known as Bee's  Hive or Honeycomb in Arabic. The bread is called so because of its shape. The buns are baked close together and traditionally they are sweet buns though we can make these savoury too.

I got to know of these buns when Aparna chose them as this month's challenge recipe. My first impression was that these were like pav buns with a filling inside. And ofcourse I opted for a savoury filling of caramelized and spicy onions. Started preparations at noon and they were ready at teatime. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy as my daughter puts it. I went for half of the recipe but next time would be going for the original quantities mentioned as the buns are addictive.


Luke warm milk: 1 cup
Instant yeast: 1.5 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp

All Purpose Flour: 2.5 cup + 1-2 tbsp if needed
Salt: 1 tsp

Melted Butter: 40 gm or 3 tbsp + 2 tsp roughly

Milk : 2 tbsp for brushing on top
Sesame seeds : for topping

Filling: Caramelized Onions 


In a bowl, combine milk, yeast and sugar and let it sit until foamy for about 5-10 minutes.

In a food processor or in a bowl if doing manually, pulse/mix together 2 cups of flour and salt till well blended. Mix in melted and cooled butter to this and blend well.

Add in the milk yeast mix and knead to form a non sticky soft smooth dough adding remaining 1/2 cup or even more as needed to form a round shaped dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled vessel, turning once to coat and let it sit covered with a plastic wrap or kitchen towel until it doubles up for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. I went for caramelized onions with spices. I sauteed the thinly sliced onions in little oil, adding salt and little sugar and once they started browning, I added seasoning to them and continued cooking till they were browned and dry and well coated with the spices. You can go with your choice of sweet/savoury filling.

Once the dough doubles up, transfer it to a counter. No need to dust the counter with flour as the dough is non sticky. Divide the dough into 2 equal halves, and each half you roll out with your hands to a 9' long rope. Divide the rope into 9 pieces of 1 ' long. Repeat the process with the other half too and you will have total 18 pieces.

Working with one piece at a time, slightly flatten the piece - the piece is long, you can shape it as a round ball and then flatten with hands- add about 1-2 tsp of filling in the centre, bring the sides together around the filling to close and shape the piece into a round ball.

Place the stuffed/filled ball with the seam side down on a parchment lined/greased 9' round cake tin.Repeat the above process of stuffing with the remaining 17 pieces and arrange them as a concentric circle in the cake tin. 

Let these pieces sit until puffy or doubled up for another 30-40 minutes under a plastic wrap.

Brush the top of the buns with milk. Top them with sesame seeds or appropriate toppings. I had only black sesame . Bake the buns in a preheated oven at 350F/180 C for about 20-30 minutes. I too these out at 24th minute. 

Cool for about 5-10 minutes in the cake tin after which transfer these carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yummo. Let me finish mine now. Why don't t you guys hop over to Aparnas place to see they did this time?


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