Khaliat nahal (Omani honeycomb bread)

Khaliat nahal (Omani honeycomb bread)

Chef and food writer Dina Macki shares her recipe for a magical sweet-savoury honeycomb bread from Oman, traditionally eaten during Ramadan and particularly on Qaranqasho.

Khaliat nahal (Omani honeycomb bread)

Dina says: “Qaranqasho is an Omani celebration that takes place on the 14th day of Ramadan, mainly across the north coast. Children dress up in traditional clothing and mothers prepare lots of nibbles and baskets of sweets, then open up their doors to all. We call it Omani Halloween, where all the kids go trick or treating – but without the tricks!

Ramadan, especially at Qaranqasho, is the only time of year you’ll see khaliat nahal. It means ‘honeycomb’ and it’s a sweet, yeasted bread with a honeycomb shape. The recipe is found in both Oman and Yemen. The bread is always filled with cheese, but the syrups drizzled over differ from family to family.”

Recipe taken from Bahari: Recipes From An Omani Kitchen And Beyond by Dina Macki (DK £26) and tested by delicious.

Browse more sweet bread recipes from around the world.

 

  • Serves icon Makes 20 balls
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, plus proving and cooling. Oven time 20-25 min

Chef and food writer Dina Macki shares her recipe for a magical sweet-savoury honeycomb bread from Oman, traditionally eaten during Ramadan and particularly on Qaranqasho.

Dina says: “Qaranqasho is an Omani celebration that takes place on the 14th day of Ramadan, mainly across the north coast. Children dress up in traditional clothing and mothers prepare lots of nibbles and baskets of sweets, then open up their doors to all. We call it Omani Halloween, where all the kids go trick or treating – but without the tricks!

Ramadan, especially at Qaranqasho, is the only time of year you’ll see khaliat nahal. It means ‘honeycomb’ and it’s a sweet, yeasted bread with a honeycomb shape. The recipe is found in both Oman and Yemen. The bread is always filled with cheese, but the syrups drizzled over differ from family to family.”

Recipe taken from Bahari: Recipes From An Omani Kitchen And Beyond by Dina Macki (DK £26) and tested by delicious.

Browse more sweet bread recipes from around the world.

 

Nutrition: Per ball

Calories
257kcals
Fat
6.2g (3.7g saturated)
Protein
6.9g
Carbohydrates
43g (19g sugars)
Fibre
1.3g
Salt
0.2g

Ingredients

  • 400ml whole milk, plus 2 tbsp
  • 14g fast-action dried yeast
  • 650g plain flour
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 200g mozzarella
  • 200g cream cheese
  • Sesame seeds to sprinkle
  • Sea salt flakes to sprinkle

For the syrup

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • Juice ½ orange
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
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Method

  1. To make the syrup, put all the ingredients in a saucepan with 170ml water. Put over a high heat and bring to the boil. Boil for exactly 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Don’t stir the syrup while it’s boiling and make sure it’s completely cooled before you use it.
  2. Pour the 400ml milk into a bowl, stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. Put the flour, sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached (or use a mixing bowl if kneading by hand). Pour in the yeasted milk mixture, then knead for 10-12 minutes at a medium speed (or mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 15-17 minutes by hand). Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 1½ hours or until roughly doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 20 even pieces and shape into balls. Take the first ball and press it flat, then put a little piece of mozzarella and some cream cheese in the middle – use roughly 10g of each. Bring the rest of the dough around the cheese to encase it, pinch the edges together to seal, then roll back into a ball and flatten very slightly. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls and cheese.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper and put the balls on it, arranging them in a honeycomb shape if possible. Leave a little space between each ball so they have room to spread as they rise. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6. Brush the balls with the remaining 2 tbsp milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. As soon as they come out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup all over. It will seep into the dough. Sprinkle over some sea salt flakes and leave to cool for 10 minutes before tearing and sharing. The bread is best while still warm but will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories
257kcals
Fat
6.2g (3.7g saturated)
Protein
6.9g
Carbohydrates
43g (19g sugars)
Fibre
1.3g
Salt
0.2g

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Recipe By

Dina Macki

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