Khaliat Nahal - Honeycomb Bread

     Welcome to his weeks edition of From our Dinner Table. This week we are sharing yeasted bread recipes. All kinds of breads. To start off with, check out the other yeasted bread recipes. 

      For now, I want to tell you about my contribution. This recipe, Khaliat Nahal, is a popular Arabic treat eaten all across the middle east. The rolls are sticky and fragrant from the delicious honey syrup perfumed with orange blossom water. Orange blossom water is one of my favorites, it adds a fruit essence that is more than just a flavor. It's hard to describe and completely unforgettable. 

     The inside of the roll is filled with labneh; a strained cheese that is thick and rich, and slightly tangy. It's fairly easy to make, but it's also really similar to cream cheese. I softened the cream cheese until it was almost at its melting point and used a piping bag to add it to the dough after it was flattened. It was so much easier than cutting it into 24 little pieces. Once the dough is sealed and filled it is placed in a round pan in rows, placing then in the pan like that forms a bit of a honeycomb pattern. 

Sweet Doughs and Breads

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Khaliat Nahal Recipe
1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. oil
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. mahalab
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. dough enhancer

1 block cream cheese, very soft

1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. orange blossom water

Simmer together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat. add the honey and orange blossom after and stir to combine. Set aside until it cools off some. Place in a glass jar and place in the fridge. It needs to be cold to use. 

Place the ingredients for the dough in a breadmaker in the order written. Put it on the dough setting and allow it to run until you have a nice and fluffy dough. 

Remove the dough from the breadmaker and cut it into quarters. Cut those in half and then each piece into thirds. You want to have 24 pieces when you are done. 

To make forming easier I softened the cream cheese and then placed it in a piping bag. Flatten the pieces of dough and then pipe a teaspoon amount of cream cheese into the center. Pull the sides together and pinch them to seal them shut around the cream cheese. Roll the sealed dough to form a ball and place, seam side down, in a pan. Repeat until you have 24 filled rolls. 

Cover with a clean, dry, cloth. Place in a warm place and allow to double in size. 

Heat the oven to 350*F. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with the cold honey syrup. Allow to cool slightly and serve. 


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