Friday, June 5, 2015

Kaak: Beirut Street Bread

If you have ever traveled to Beirut, you will recognize this bread which is sold on the streets all over the city. Kaak is as popular in Lebanon as bagels are in New York.
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1-2 tablespoons more flour for flouring and rolling
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope rapid rise yeast

For topping
1 large egg
1/2 cup sesame seeds and nigella seeds

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and knead until you have a smooth ball.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces.  Roll each piece out into an 8 inch disk.  Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter, cut a hole near one of the edges of the disk. The holes are made because the kaaks are hung on a pole to sell.

Place them on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the kaaks.

Sprinkle each with sesame seeds, nigella seeds or both.
Cover with plastic wrap and let these rise for about 1 hour.

Bake them in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until they turn golden.

Serve them hot right out of the oven.