I first tried this at my Syrian Khale’s (aunt) house and non of us could stop eating it. when I asked her for the recipe she said ‘ohhh its easy.. 2 cups of flour, some sugar, yeast, egg to brush, water, milk and butter or oil’ so off I went to make this and lets just say some things are better left and not spoken of at all.
I mean it was so bad and I was so disheartened that I didn’t feel inspired to try it again for months. I attempted to make the honeycomb bread a few more times, adjusting the measurements each time until this time (photographed), it turned out to be an absolute dream of a recipe.
As I always point out I’m not a professional chef, I am self taught and have learned most of what I know from my mother, grandmother and aunts. So If i can make this sucsessfully then so can you.
I choose to use condensed milk in this recipe to pour on top of the honeycomb bread once cooked. I have seen some opt out for honey instead. Condensed milk however is my favourite as I love the subtle sweetness it adds and of course that little bit of stickiness.
Honeycomb Bread – Khaliat al Nahl
Start by melting the butter and setting it to one side.
Add the warm milk, warm water, sugar and yeast to a large bowl, mix to combine and set aside covered with a cloth for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
In another bowl mix all the other dry ingredients such as flour, salt and milk powder and set aside.
In a medium bowl mix the grated mozzarella with cream cheese and set aside to use.
After 10 minutes the yeast should have activated and look foamy. Mix with a whisk once and add the dry ingredients while combining slowly.
Finally add the melted butter and combine fully. You should start to see a dough consistency. Transfer onto a clean floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.
Grease a clean bowl with a small drizzle of oil, place the dough in the center, cover fully and allow to rise for 3 hours.
Transfer the dough onto a clean and floured surface. shape the dough into small balls. Mix the two types of cheese, flatten each dough ball and place a teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the centre of each dough, pinch and seal the dough into small balls.
Line a baking tray and place the dough balls spaced out. Bake in the oven on 180c for 30 minutes or until golden.
Pour condensed milk all over the freshly baked bread and enjoy.
Warm the milk so that its not room temperature and it's not boiling hot. But it should feel very warm.
This applies to warm water too. You don't want either of these to be boiling hot nor lukewarm as if its too hot it will burn the yeast and if not warm enough than the yeast won't activate as it should.
Adding sugar to initial mixture also helps the yeast to activate faster and better than not adding it.
Warm the milk so that its not room temperature and it's not boiling hot.