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The Hirshon Spiced Yemenite Kubaneh Bread - כֻּבַּאנֶה מְתוּבָּל

The Hirshon Spiced Yemenite Kubaneh Bread – כֻּבַּאנֶה מְתוּבָּל

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 450g (3 1/3 cups) strong white bread flour
  • 15g (1 Tbsp.) fine sea salt
  • 80g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 45g (3 Tbsp.) fresh yeast or 1 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 225g (scant 1 cup) water at room temperature
  • 2 eggs (1 for brushing)
  • 30g (2 Tbsp.) very soft European-style cultured butter, mixed with 100g very soft KerryGold Irish butter – reserve 2 Tbsp. for buttering baking pot
  • 2 tsp. Yemenite hawaij seasoning (TFD addition)
  • 2 tsp. wild cumin seeds, very lightly-crushed (TFD addition)
  • ***
  • for garnish:
  • 1 Tbsp. nigella seeds, for sprinkling over surface of bread
  • ***
  • Resek Avganiyot tomato condiment for dipping:
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, or to taste
  • some olive oil, to taste
  • A bit of Kosher salt, to taste
  • A bit of Zhoug (strongly preferred) or green hot sauce of your choice, to taste


  1. Pour water into a mixing bowl. Whisk yeast into water. Add flour and sugar, and then 1 egg, salt, hawaij and wild cumin seeds. Use an electric mixer fitted with dough hook to mix on low speed, stopping mixer if dough climbs up hook. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Once dough comes together, increase speed to medium-high and continue to knead until dough cleans bottom and sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface. Use your palms to stretch a corner of dough away from you in one stroke, and then fold dough back on itself. Give dough a quarter turn and repeat. Do this about 10 times, until dough is shaped into a smooth round. Lightly flour a large bowl, set dough inside and lightly flour top of dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside at room temperature until dough just about doubles in volume, 30-45 minutes.
  4. Microwave butter and cultured butter in a glass dish until very soft but not melted, 10 seconds. Lightly grease a large plate with a little bit of softened butter. Lightly flour work surface and set dough on top.
  5. Divide dough into 8 equal-size pieces. Gently roll each piece against work surface to gently shape it into a ball and set on buttered plate. Cover plate with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Use 2 tablespoons softened butter to generously grease a heavy 5-quart pot (8-9 inches in diameter) with a tight-fitting lid. Use 1 tablespoon softened butter to grease a clean work surface. Take a ball of dough from plate and smear 1 tablespoon softened butter on top.
  7. Gently press and spread dough to form a paper-thin 12- to 13-inch square, using more butter as needed to prevent tearing (though a little tearing won’t hurt). Fold left side of dough over center, then fold right side over left. Starting at bottom of dough strip, roll dough into a tight cylinder. Slice cylinder in half crosswise, then place halves in prepared pot, cut-side up.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging pieces in a circle in pot with a few pieces in center to fill. Cover pot with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until a finger gently pressed into dough leaves a depression that quickly fills in by three-quarters, about 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon softened butter and brush over top of dough, then brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle on nigella seeds. Seal pot with a layer of aluminum foil, then cover with lid and place in oven. Bake 8-10 hours, but no longer. Turn oven off and leave bread in until ready to eat.
  10. Make resek avganiyot:
  11. Blanch whole tomatoes in boiling water, then transfer them to an ice bath.
  12. Peel the tomatoes, renove seeds and grate them on the fine holes of a box grater. Season to taste with kosher salt, olive oil and zhug. Serve with kubaneh.
  13. To serve kubaneh, uncover, remove foil and turn out bread, then invert onto a platter so the attractive side faces up. To eat, rip kubaneh apart, separating clusters into smaller rolls. Dip into resek avganiyot and any other condiments being served.