Traditionally baked in the residual heat of the hearth overnight on Friday and served for breakfast or brunch on Sabbath (Shabbat) with boiled eggs, tomato salsa and a hot green chilli sauce called zhug sahawiq or skhug, this bread is rich with both flavour and history. The Yemen Jews brought it to Israel and it has become an integral part of Israeli cuisine. The eggs are often cooked overnight with the bread and are called chaminados when prepared this way.
The long slow baking causes the butter between the layers of dough to caramelise, giving the bread an even deep golden colour and distinct, but mellow, flavour right to the core.
- 300 ml lukewarm water
- 7 g (1 sachet) instant dried yeast
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 450 g (3 cups) plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1½ tsp salt
- 125 g butter, softened enough to spread easily, plus extra to grease
- 3 green Jalapeno chillies, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup firmly packed coriander leaves and chopped stems
- 1 cup firmly-packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
- 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil, plus extra to cover
- boiled eggs and tomato salsa
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Baking: 8 hours (overnight)
1. Combine 40 ml (2 tablespoons) of the lukewarm water with the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the flour. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 5 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
2. Combine the remaining flour, remaining sugar and salt in a large bowl. Combine the yeast mixture with the remaining water, add to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic and springs back when you push your finger into it.
4. Brush a large bowl with extra melted butter to grease. Add the dough turning it to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
5. When the dough has doubled in size knock it back by punching it in the centre with your fist. Recover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size again.
6. Brush a 22 cm springform tin with extra melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Wrap the base with foil. Cut a 22 cm round of non-stick baking paper and brush one side liberally with butter.
7. When the dough has doubled in size knock it back by punching it in the centre with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough evenly into 8 portions.
8. Take one portion of dough and use your hands to pat and stretch it into a rectangle about 20 cm x 15 cm and about 3 mm thick. Use your fingers to smear an eighth (15 g) of the butter over the surface to coat. With a long side closest to you, fold in the right third into the centre and then the left third in to form three layers. Then, starting from the closest edge to you, roll up the dough into a tight log. Cut the log in half and then place the scrolls in the centre of the lined tin, cut side up or down (depending on your aesthetic). Repeat with the remaining dough portions and butter to make 16 scrolls in total, placing them in the tin around the first two scrolls.
9. Cover the scrolls with the round of baking paper, buttered side down, and then cover Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30-40 minutes or until the scrolls are well puffed.
10. Preheat oven to 100°C (80°C fan-forced).
11. Cover the top of the tin tightly with a piece of foil and place on a tray. Bake for 8 hours or overnight or until a deep golden and aromatic.
12. To make the zhug, process the chillies, garlic, coriander, parsley, cumin, cardamom and salt in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil until well combined and smooth. Transfer to a serving dish and cover the surface with a thin layer of extra olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill (see Baker’s tips).
13. Serve the kubaneh warm with boiled egg, tomato salsa and z’hug.
• This bread is best eaten the day it is made, however it does freeze well – seal in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature. To reheat, wrap in foil and warm in an oven preheated to 160°C (140°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes for individual scrolls or 15-20 minutes for the whole loaf.
• The zhug will keep covered with a thin layer of olive oil in a dish covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 4 days. Serve at room temperature.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Nick Banbury. Creative concept by Belinda So.
This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Jewish column. Read tips on how to bake the perfect Bundt cake in her column.
View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.