Crispy puff bread with black seed flavor, super thin and delicious with almost anything or on its own.
There is nothing that can make me happier - culinary wise- than creating a recipe for something from my childhood. Food that I grew up with almost always brings back happy memories from Egypt.
I could not believe that I really made it, and it is just as I remember from my childhood. This crunchy bread that I used to eat with white cheese and sometimes slices of watermelon or figs. I love this bread, not only because of its crispness and flavor, but also for the memories attached to it.
I remember dad coming home with a big sac of this puffy bread every other day just because I loved it so much to the extent that I used to even nibble on it, aren't dad wonderful?, truly they are a blessing, so if yours is still in this world, go show them some love 😘 😘. .
I also remember this very old man wandering the streets in our neighbourhood selling this beautiful little bread. He used to come by around 4:00 PM shouting " Mahlaaaaab" indicating the name of the bread and announcing that he is there so come on buy from me.
My oldest sister used to come home so exhausted from college and when she tries to get some sleep, he always shows up and shout in this voice that I still remember, then she wakes up cursing and angry that whenever she tries to get some sleep he shows up as if he knew she was trying to get some rest :), very funny.
But my dad is no longer there and so the old man and to my surprise, even this beautiful rounded bread disappeared!!! I cannot find it anywhere for the last 5 years. So imagine my happiness when I recreated this amazingly flavored bread. I really love it.
This is one of the easiest recipe to make the Mahlab bread, as it requires a handful of ingredients probably there in your pantry. Flour, salt and yeast then some Nigella seeds to top. This bread should be puffy, thin and crunchy... Try some today and I hope you'll like it as I do.
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- 3 cup flour.
- ½ teaspoon salt.
- 1 ½ teaspoon dry yeast.
- ½ teaspoon sugar - optional didn't use.
- 1 cup warm water
- Black seed . Nigella
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk.
- In your mixing bowl, mix flour, salt , yeast and sugar if using, until well combined.
- Slowly add water until it forms a soft and smooth dough.
- Place in an oiled bowl and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal parts - more or less according to the size of the bread you need.
- Flatten the balls to a 2mm thickness, brush top with egg and milk mixture and sprinle black seeds on top.
- Let it rest for another 10-15 minutes, meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 400F.
- Place the bread into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bottom is lightly brown.
- If the top of the bread is not golden brown yet, you may want to open the broiler on low for about 2 to 3 minutes and watching carefully.
- Take the bread out and let it cool completely to room temerature.
- Bread will harden as it cools down.
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Do you have a recipe for Arabic coffee?
Kris, Do you want the Turkish one or you mean the yellowish-greenish one with cardamom?
Thank you for this post! I was curious if it can be made with whole wheat flour? And if so, how would I adjust the recipe to accommodate the whole wheat flour?
Nas, I've never tried it before and Mahlab bread is always made from AP flour. But, I do not see why not and here are some suggestions. Better substitute part of the AP flour with the whole wheat, I do not recommend substituting the whole amount. Let's say half whole wheat and half AP. The finished product might not look the same as I believe it will be coarser ( in texture) and with less volume.It is also recommended that you add 5 teaspoons of water/liquid for every cup substituted. I would start with a Tablespoon (i.e. 3 teaspoons), then work my way up until I get the perfect consistency of the dough. Usually breads are very forgiving in this matter not like cakes or pastries. I hope this will help you. Tell me if you need any more guidance and I would love to see you come back and tell me what happened. Thanks
I want to try to make this. I love trying different types of bread. When we were in Egypt at the hotel they had women outside... as you walked to the outdoor restaurant... making a type of flat bread - like Naan ). I've never seen or eaten this bread and I'm very much looking forward to trying my hand at making it. ; o )
When we lived in Malta bread was called 'Hobz' and the bread in Morocco is called Khobz. Many of the words in Maltese are actually Arabic - how about that!
(I have a recipe for a Moroccan bread you might like.) ; o )
Cecil, you are multinational girl :). How I envy you. You are right bread is called Khobz in Arabic language and I did not know it goes by almost the same name in Malta.. this is so funny!!! I need to check all the goodies you have in your site.
What a nice story, so many things change as we get older, it's sad a lot of times, but it's nice to have memories. I thought this bread was going to have mahlab in it because of the name, what does mahlab mean in your language, super curious. It's a dried cherry spice in the Levant.
This question crossed my mind too and I searched for it without getting to the bottom of why they named it that way!!! I know Mahlab is a spice and it is weird that it is not included in the recipe!!. Thanks for the comment Noor.
hi, I tried this recipe , but the bread never rise all flat. and I found different recipe it ask for mehlab to be added, that's why it called mahlab bread( it was from one of the chefs on t.v.)
Amy, thank you for trying this recipe. Puffed or not, it will taste great anyways :), but sometimes this happen. My advice to you is to increase the temperature of the oven to the max and make sure that the oven really has reached that temperature eith by a thermometer or waiting for like 30 minutes after it indicated that it has reached that temperature. My oven is old and I always go for the second way as I do not have an external thermometer for the oven. Test one first, if it still did not puff then try putting the bread directly on the oven rack and watch out for the heat please. Now, for the mahlab powder, it is not easy for us to find that thing here and I saw many chefs as well opt out. I do not even bother using it when making Kahk, which is the most famous recipe for using mahlab. While you may find people say it is a crucial ingredients there are others who don't. I was brought up in a home where mom did not use it, although it is easy to find in Egypt. If you can find it and willing to use it then just add a Tablespoon to the bread mixture. This bread tastes exactly like the one that we used to buy 30 years ago, that's why I love it so much. I hope this answers your questions, if you need any more assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
It's what I love about recipes you are sharing Amira: the story behind. I could feel, smell, imagine the place, the taste.
I was looking for something for tonight. I will try it as soon as I get home. Thanks and take care.