Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bee Hive Buns / Honeycomb Buns / Khaliat Nahal - Eggless #BreadBakers

  For  this month’s bread bakers gave us the theme to bake sweetened yeast bread for Christmas or Holiday season.

  This Bee Hive buns was the bread which was chosen  for another bread baking group We Knead to Bake in which I was a member. I didn’t bake this bread during that time. But this bread was in my to do list for a long time.

  When this month’s theme was announced I immediately decided to make this bee hive bread.

This bread is easy enough to make and what is unusual is that it is filled and then covered with a sugar syrup/ glaze ,which is typical of Middle Eastern confectionery.

Khaliat al Nahal (also known as Khaliat Nahal) translates as Bee’s Hive in Arabic. This is because the buns are baked close to each other in a round pan where they form a honeycomb like pattern. They’re traditionally made sweet and glazed with honey flavoured syrup, though savoury versions are also made.

This recipe makes 15 small buns, and if you want fewer you can halve the recipe to make about 9 or 10 buns. For half the recipe, use a 6” or 7” round cake tin to bake the Honeycomb Bread. 

   You can also bake them individually in muffin tins if you prefer, except they would not have their characteristic “honeycomb” pattern.

Traditionally, the filling used in this bread is a small piece of plain cream cheese but here choice of filling is entirely up to you. You can make it sweet or savoury. I used sweet coconut filling. I used fresh grated coconut , you can use dessicated coconut if it is not available.
Here’s a good video to watch in case you think you need it. http://xawaash.com/?p=6593#sthash.WYkAg0DL.dpbs

Khaliat Nahal (Honeycomb Buns or Bee’s Hive Buns)

For the dough:
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
40gm butter, melted
2 tbsp milk for brushing the dough
2 tbsp white sesame seeds for sprinkling on top (optional only for savoury bread)

For the filling:
1 cup Grated coconut
1 tbs clarified Butter
10 cashew
10 Raisins
¼ tsp Cardamom powder
¼ cup sugar

Other options for filling :

Savoury - cream cheese OR crumbled feta cheese OR crumbled paneer/ cottage cheese, flavoured according to your choice. You can also use any other savoury filling that you want. I used a combination of crumbled paneer, herbs, chilli flakes, a little garlic and chopped spring onion.
Sweet - cream cheese (traditional filling), or any other filing of your choice like chocolate, dried fruit like dates, raisins, chopped nuts, chopped fruit , sweetened coconut filling, etc.

Sugar Syrup/ Glaze:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
A pinch of saffron
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lime/ lemon juice

Make sure your melted butter has cooled down a bit before using it. Put 2 cups of the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl and mix well.

Combine the milk, sugar and melted butter  and add this to the dough mixture and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough which is not sticky.
      Add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as you need to get this consistency of bread dough. I used all of 2 1/2 cups of flour for mine.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat completely with the oil. Cover and let it rise till double in volume, for about an hour.
Turn the dough out onto your work counter. You won’t really need to flour it as the dough is quite manageable as it is. Cut it into 2 halves. With your palms, roll out each half a “rope” about 9” long. Cut each rope into 1” pieces so you have a total of 18 pieces.

Coconut Filling :

Add the butter to a sauce pan and melt . To this add chopped cashew along with raisins  and fry.
Add  the grated coconut and saute for a minute and take off flame.
To the above add the cardamom powder and sugar , mix well. 
Let the mixture cool.

Shaping the Buns :

Take each piece and flatten it out a little and place half a teaspoon of filling in the centre. Pull up the sides and wrap the dough around the filling, pinching it closed at the top. Smoothen it into a round ball. Place this in a well-greased round 9” cake tin. Repeat with the remaining 17 pieces and the filling.

Arrange the filled balls of dough in concentric circles, filling the base of the cake tin.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30 to 40 minutes. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle the sesame seeds over this. Don’t use the sesame seeds for sweet bread, only for the savoury Filling .

Bake the buns at 180*C (350*F) for about 25 – 30 minutes, until they’re done and a nice golden brown on top.
Let them cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then on a wire rack.

Sugar Glaze :
If you’re making the sweet version, make the sugar syrup/ glaze during the first rise of the dough. For this put the sugar, water and saffron in a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until it starts thickening a bit. Take it off the heat and add the honey and the lime/ lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool. Keep aside till needed.
When the sweet buns come out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top of the “Honeycomb”.  The bread should be hot and the syrup/ glaze should be cool. 

If you want your Honeycomb Buns to be less sweet, just brush the syrup/ glaze over the top.I brushed the syrup as the filling was so sweet.

Let it sit for a while for the syrup/ glaze to set a bit. Serve them warm with tea/ coffee.

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  • BreadBakers

    #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

    We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


    1. Coconut sounds wonderful in here!

    2. Beautiful filled buns, Sharanya! I love the coconut filling as well.

    3. These buns look so fabulous. I love the surprise coconut filling and the sugary glaze.

    4. These look and sound delicious. I'm glad you got a chance to make it. I am picturing counting out exactly 10 raisins =)

      1. Only 10 raisins remained to be added to bread after munching.......:)

    5. Love the coconut filling in these buns. They look very pretty.

    6. This bread baked up perfectly and looks delicious. That coconut filling would be delicious!

    7. I will bet these rolls were to die for....I love the choice of coconut for the filling.

    8. The honey comb buns looks fabulous and the filling must be really delicious. Loved the rich golden colur of the perfectly baked buns!