Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

I went to Buffalo/New York and during a Yemeni Sister potluck and forum, I met this amazing bread that a sister by the name of Hannan brought with her. It looked like a “Bint Al Sahn” but it was thicker. There must have been at least 30 layers. And it was crispier. I had my eyes on it the entire afternoon, but sidled up next to it too late. It was wiped clean. Serves me right for talking too much!  Well, on my last day in Buffalo Hannan was nice enough to make me one to take home and enjoy with my husband. I prayed to Allah that I wouldn’t lose my luggage and Alhamdullilah it made it home safe. Khaled and enjoyed it with honey, with lots of Duas for Hannan. Here are the pics of it:

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Of course, once every crumb was gone Khaled and I yearned for it. So,  asked Hannan for her recipe and I made it today. She doesn’t have exact measurements, so I measured as a went along. Here is what you’ll need:

1) 1 cup of warm milk

2) 1 cup of warm water

3) 1 tsp of salt ( or to taste)

4) 4 cups and a 1/2 of white flour (I used Gold Medal all purpose flour)

I kneaded all the ingredient together and made a soft dough. Add more flour or water if you need to make a soft but un-sticky dough. Here is what the dough looks like:


Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for half an hour:


After half an hour turn this dough into small balls –it’ll make 24 balls of dough comfortably.

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Then cover and leave aside for another 30 minutes.


Then with a rolling pin starting opening each one into thin circles, and leave them aside. Make sure you flour the counter so they don’t stick to it or to each other.

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Preheat the oven at 500 degrees fahrenheit and place a big circular tray in the oven to heat. Then take another metal circular baking tray  and flip it over and oil well. And then start covering the tray with the circles–stretch out the dough so it covers it well. It’ll be a very thin layer.

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Oil this first layer well and then continue with the next one and the next one, remembering to oil in between  in each layer.

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Oil the last one as well. Then take a pair of scissors and cut out the excess dough on the ends like this:

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Now you are done and ready to place in the oven.  Open up the oven and carefully take the tray that has been heating up inside and carefully flip the layers onto the hot tray. Do this carefully, using your fingers to help the dough along. Close the oven and let it cook. It will puff up beautifully like this:


When it has browned well, then take it out. Let it cool and then serve warm with honey.

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This is one of my favorites. It’s pretty easy to make, although might be time consuming for some. For the dough you will need:

1) 2 cups of flour

2) 1/4 tsp of salt

3) 1 tablespoon of oil [I used sunflower oil]

4) water as kneaded to make a soft and smooth dough

Add the salt to the dough and mix well. Then add the oil and mix in as well. Then gradually add water and knead and unit it is transformed into a smooth and soft dough. Soft means that when you poke it it does not bounce back. Cover the dough and let rest for 30 minutes.

When the dough has rested for 30 minutes, divide it into small balls. This amount should be enough for 12 small balls.

Using a rolling pin, open up the balls into small circles. Try to roll them out into approximately the same size. Place them on a well floured surface. Plan on stacking four on top of each other. Now before you stack them on top of each other, take one of circles and add one tsp of oil onto it. Smear it with a spoon. Then sprinkle a little dough. Then place another circle of dough on top of it. Continue until you have four. DO NOT OIL AND SPRINKLE FLOUR ON THE LAST ONE.  Continue with the rest. MAKE SURE YOU COVER THOSE YOU HAVE COMPLETED SO THEY DON’T DRY OUT.Place a flat pan on high heat. The pan has to be very hot.


Now it is time to roll them out. Before you do so press with your fingers around the edges so that they all line up evenly or else you will end up have ones that are shorter than the others. Like this:

Then roll it out pretty thin:


Once you have it all rolled out beautifully, place it carefully on the hot pan. It will start puffing up in a few seconds. Flip on the other side and watch it puff up some more.


The layers will start coming apart. That’s when it is ready. Pull the layers apart with your hands. BE CAREFUL IT IS HOT. Continue until you are done with  all the dough you have prepared.


The layers will be nice and thin like this:


Now for the egg mixture to put in between the thin layers that you just made with the dough.  You will need:

1) 2-3 eggs

2) 4 green onions, finely chopped

3) a handful of cilantro finely chopped

4) green chilly pepper finely chopped –to taste. This will make it a little spicy.

5) salt to taste


Mix all these ingredients well together:


Now oil the pan with about a tsp of oil, then take one of the layers of the prepared dough and place it on top. Then oil the layer  and spread some of the egg mixture on top:


Place a second layer on top:


Cook on both sides until well browned. [If you would like to use more eggs in between you may, but just make sure it is cooked well. Leave it a little longer that is. If you would like to make sure the egg is cooked, you can pierce the dough with a fork and if egg does not ooze out then it is cooked]. Serve hot with Yemeni tea. Enjoy!


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Lahoh — لحوح


Lahoh reminds me of Ramadan in Aden. My mum would buy paper thin Lahoh from the Somali market and we would have them for Sahoor. I like to put some ghee on a skillet, crisp them, sprinkle sugar on top and enjoy with a cup of Adeni red tea. Yum.  These are not the same kind because they have 3 kinds of flour in them, and buttermilk. My mother-in-law makes these. They come out so thin. Here’s the recipe, “Bismillah.”

You will need:

1) 1 and a 1/2 cup of white flour

2) 1/2 cup of wheat flour

3) 1/3 cup of millet flour

4) 3 cups of water

5) 1 cup of buttermilk [I used whole]

6) 1 tsp of black seed

7) 1 and  1/2 tsp of yeast

8) 1 and 1/2 tsp of sugar

9) 1 tsp of salt [I used sea salt]

Mix all the above ingredients together into a smooth batter. Let rise for approximately 2 hours–less if your home is warm enough. Place a skillet under medium high heat until it is hot, and then using a 1/4 cup measurement  pour the batter onto the skillet and move the skillet around until the batter makes a thin coating. When it browns on the bottom and is nice and fluffy on top remove and continue until all the batter is done. Enjoy with your favorite sauce [try Glaba/Qlaba/Khusar]  with it, or just with a little honey or ghee and sugar. It’s delish.

Mix ingredients

Has risen

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Pizza Crust

I have searched far and wide for a good pizza dough and none satisfied me. I needed a dough for a nice thin crust like the one I loved from Domino’s Pizza. So, finally this has worked for me very well. Let’s start Bismillah! For one pizza enough for 3-4 people:

1) 2 cups of white flour [I used organic white flour]

2) 1/2 tsp of salt [I used sea salt]

3) 1/2 tsp of sugar

Mix all the above dry ingredients together. Then come the liquid ingredients:

1) 2 1/4 tsp of yeast dissolve in 1/4 cup of warm water

2) 1/2 cup of warm water [it’s best if you heat it up rather than use tap water]

3) 1 tblsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix the dry and liquid ingredients to make a dough. You may or may not need extra water to help it come together. Knead well on a surface by hand for 5 minutes or so. Place in an greased bowl for 10 minutes for a thin crust pizza, or 40-50 minutes for regular crust. Either way, once the dough has rested spread it out with your fingers [you may dip your hands in olive oil to help] to the desired size, or use a rolling pin to desired size–the thinner you want it the more you want it spread out, Then prick it with a fork and bake for 5 minutes in a 500 degree oven before you use your favorite toppings and bake again in the oven.

For toppings I made some tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market. I immersed the in hot water, peeled and diced them. Cooked the tomatoes in olive oil, with garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and a little tomato paste. Make sure you don’t put too much sauce, or else the pizza will get soggy. Made some meat balls using ground beef , garlic, oregano, cracked black pepper and salt. Added some green olives, and Mozzarella cheese [fresh and shredded]. You can basically use any toppings you like. Then bake in a preheated 500 degree oven until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned. Enjoy with ranch dressing.

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You can make the  dough for this  from scratch but I used these Rhodes White Dinner Rolls –they are available in your local grocery store, in the frozen foods section.

You will need:

1)  5 Rhodes White Dinner Rolls thawed.

2) Haloumi Cheese (or any white cheese you like)–enough to cover each roll insha Allah.

3) 2 tsp of black seed (for black seed products, click here)

4) olive oil

Very easy to make. Take the thawed rolls, and open them up to about 4 centimeters in diameter–or more if you want them thinner. You can use your fingers–like I did–or you can use a rolling pin.  Grate, or cut the cheese into pieces big enough for each, and place on top. Sprinkle the black seed on each, and drizzle with a little Olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

Very simple, but DELISH. Enjoy!

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To make the VERY ELASTIC dough that is the secret of this recipe you will need:

1) 1 tsp of yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water

2) 4 eggs

3) 3 cups of white flour (I used North dakota)

4) 1/4 cup of water (in addition to the 1/4 of cup in which you have dissolved the yeast)

5) 1 tsp salt

6) 1/4 cup of melted butter(or ghee if you have some at hand)

In a bowl hand whisk the eggs, add the salt, water, yeast mixture and whisk well. Slowly add the flour and knead into a dough. Slowly pour the melted better and continue kneading until all the butter is incorporated. You can use a mixer for this, but we usually knead it by hand.

The dough takes on a yellowy color from the eggs and the butter!


Divide into 16 balls of equal size and cover so they do not dry up ( REMEMBER to flour the plate you put them on, so they do not stick to the plate). Let rise for about 20 min. You can use a rolling pin and start opening up each circle as big as you can–each one has to be so thin that you can literally see through it. Our yemeni mothers and sisters do th is by hand. I continue with my hand here, tossing it from one hand to the other. BE CAREFUL it does not break! It will be VERY thin, almost see through.

With a spoon sprinkle some melted butter onto a round metal oven dish (about 14 inch in diameter). Then place the first layer onto the butter–make sure the edges stick to the oven dish. Sprinkle more butter on this layer and repeat the process of opening up the balls of dough–basically repeat the previous three steps–until you get the to last one. Don’t sprinkle the top of this layer with butter, but rather brush it with some egg yolk and sprinkle some black seeds on it.

Place in the preheated oven about 20 minutes, until it rises and browns on the top. Serve with HONEY.

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This is Adeni bread–it very much looks like  Indian Paratha. It is also called “Khobz Mulawah” and I have heard it by this name among the Somali and Oromo community. In any case, here is the recipe.

The ingredients are simple and probably at hand in every home, but the secret is in how well you knead the dough before you prepare it for frying.

The ingredients for the dough are few:

  1. 1/2 cup of white flour (I used the organic kind)

  2. 1/2 a cup of wheat flour

  3. 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  4. enough water make the dough

Pour the water gradually until you form a sticky dough. Keep on kneading for at least 20 minutes, adding more water as you go until you form a nice soft dough. Cover and eave aside for another 20 minutes before you start.

This recipe makes two Khobz (bread). So, divide the dough into two equal parts and roll them into balls. Then roll each one out, one at a time. Make sure you flour the surface you roll out the dough on. Then roll out the dough as thin as possible. Once it is rolled out, as thin as it will possibly go, smear on some oil (traditionally we use ghee, but my healthy conscious self resorts to canola oil).

Then it is time to fold it. Bring both sides to the middle and fold, and then fold into half. It look like a long rectangle. Nor bring the two short sides of the rectangle to the middle and then fold into half. You will have a square. Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Once you are done with the other ball of dough, flour a plate and place them both on it. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Why do we refrigerate? It make the dough easy to roll.

After 20 minutes take out one of the pieces and again flour your work space. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin–about 1/2 inch thick. Make sure you roll out the sides. A typical mistake that many make is that they roll out the center too much and leave the edges thick. You want to roll it out evenly, so iit is 1/2 an inch thick all around. Place a frying pan (the size should fit the size the rolled out dough comfortably) on medium heat, and when it is SMOKING hot–yep you should be able to see the steam rising from the frying pan– pick up the rolled out dough and place it on the frying pan . It will start puffing up a little. Let it change color a bit (golden brown)–you can peek at it to make sure it does. Once it does flip it and let the other side also turn color.

While the other side is turning color, cover the top part with about a tablespoon of oil (again if you would like to use ghee instead, go ahead). Then flip the side with the oil and let it cook. It will puff up like a balloon. The hungrier your husband is, the puffier it gets –that’s just a superstition ! Fold it, and let one side turn a little darker (we are still working on the side that has the oil). Then open up and fold again so that the other half of the oily side also turns a little darker in color. Flip the oily side up, drizzle a little ghee on top and serve HOT !

Repeat the same process with the other piece of dough, but remember to wipe the frying pan CLEAN with a paper towel before you start.


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