Yemarina Yewotet Dabo: Ethiopian Honey Bread
This sweetly spiced bread maximizes honey, both inside and out. For more about this and other unusual Rosh Hashanah breads see my story at the Jewish Week “Beyond Challah and Honey: Rosh Hashanah Breads From Around the World.”
Prep time: 30 minutes
Rising time: 2-2 ¼ hours
Baking time: 1 hour
Yield: One large bread
adapted from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
1 tablespoon active, dry yeast
½ cup warm water (about 110º F)
1 tablespoon honey + ½ cup honey
1 egg, beaten, plus 1 egg beaten for wash
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom or cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warmed milk (about 1 ½ – 2 minutes in the microwave)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
5 ½ cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading
vegetable oil for the bowl
1. Place warm water and 1 tablespoon of honey in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to dissolve the honey; then add the yeast and let foam for 10 minutes.
2. Whisk the egg, ½ cup honey, spices and salt together in a large bowl. Gently stir in the yeast mixture and then add the warm milk and butter.
3. Stir 2 cups flour into the mixture. Add flour ½ cup at a time while mixing. Continue until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
4. Flour the work surface or use a plastic mat to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes.
5. Place in a lightly oiled, warmed bowl, turn dough to be coated in oil, and set inside a plastic bag, until doubled in size, approximate 60-90 minutes.
6. Gently deflate the dough to form into round loaf and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or inside a parchment paper lined spring form pan. Allow it to rise again for about 45 minutes. After 30 minutes preheat the oven to 325º F.
7. Use a kitchen scissor or knife to slash the top and lightly cover with egg wash.
8. Place into the oven for about 15 minutes; rewash the newly expanded dough and replace in oven switching the direction of the pan to even out the bake, for 45 more minutes, a total of one hour of baking time. If the top begins to look too brown, place a sheet of foil over the top. When it reaches an inner temperature of 190º the dabo should be done; you may also want to tap on the bottom of the bread for hollow sound to determine doneness.
9. Invert the bread onto a wire rack to cool. Eat it warm or let it cool.
1. Try an organic honey, local to you. I would have loved to use an Ethiopian honey but have not found it.
2. I found that using the kitchen thermometer to monitor doneness, supplements the technique of tapping the bottom of the bread.
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- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
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- On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
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- Recipe for Dabo: Ethiopian Pan Cooked Shabbat Bread
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- What is the Chocolate Babka Project?
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- What? No Babka at Catskills Hotels? *
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