Kubana – Yemenite Croissant





My mother was a great baker. Sometimes it felt like she loved baking more than cooking, when the kitchen was filled with cakes and cookies - but there was no dinner. After she passed away, my three brothers started to master the art of baking at home. When my brother Nathaniel visited me four years ago, he made so much pita bread that we had to give it away to neighbors and friends.  I heard Eliya, my youngest brother, now has his own special recipe to make pita bread. When Yair visited me this summer he taught me his own modern version of making Kubana, which I share with you here.  Yair is currently working on his doctorate in Biophysics, and as a scientist he always looks for the perfect formula that would yield the same results in different experiments – and he nailed it in this recipe.  Yair’s birthday is this week, on Halloween, so I would like to dedicate this post to him. Happy birthday Yair.


Kubana is a traditional Yemenite butter bread, usually served with breakfast. In its original shape it is a big round loaf composed of roses of dough that were baked together in a special pan designed for it.  Some people cook it on the cook top, flipping between the two sides of the pot for even cooking.  Baking on fire, gives the bread a rustic flavor. Personally, I prefer the Kubaniyot version of it – small pieces of Kubana, baked in the oven.



As for the ingredients, I love the aroma that onion seeds give the bread, you can find them in Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores, or online. They are optional. To give the Kubana its authentic taste and aroma you would need to use Samna, which is a Yemenite butter. I will share the recipe in tomorrow’s post. If you don’t have Samna, regular butter would work too.  Making Kubana is a time consuming process that is why I prefer to make big quantity and freeze some for the future.

 Ingredients:

1 kilo/2.2 lb flour
1-2 tbsp onion seeds (Hapasoda - in Yemenite) –optional
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp dry yeast
4 tbsp sugar
2 cups warm water
1 egg
¼ cup oil
12 tbsp melted butter/Samna

Preparation:

In a big bowl mix flour, salt, and onion seeds.


In a separate dish mix dry yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let yeast rise.


Add yeast water, egg and oil to the bowl of dry ingredients.


Kneed the dough until all ingredients are incorporated into one piece of dough.


Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in room temperature for an hour.


Kneed the dough for about 2 minutes. Create 12 balls and kneed each ball before placing it in pan to rise. Brush all dough balls with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for another hour.






Roll out each ball to a thin layer of dough. Spread 1 tbsp of butter/Samna on top of it, roll in the dough to a round long cylinder shape.







There are two ways to shape the pastry:

1. Cut cylinder into 8 pieces, about 1 inch long.



2. Cut cylinder to half, rolling each half to a snail shape.


Place pastry tightly in a baking pan;
I placed 14 snails I got from 7 balls of dough in a round 10” diameter-baking pan, and about 40 mini rolls in a 12”X7.5 baking pan.



Let rise for another hour.



Bake in a 350F/180C preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.



I brush the Kubana with melted Samna to give it a nice shine. That's an option.

I love to serve Kubana with Samna and honey. Details tomorrow. 




Comments

  1. Delicious! thank you Yair! the additional butter is not needed in my opinion. i can only imagine how good it was when it was fresh from the oven!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Paul. I'm glad you enjoyed the Kubana at the office. Yair created a perfect recipe. I Personally love a lot of butter with my food, but I'm glad to hear that it doesn't need anything else.

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  2. I have been looking everywhere for a small kubana pan. So far I have been able to purchase a larger one, but since I am a single person, I have no need for the larger one and would prefer a smaller pan. Is there anywhere (besides Israel) where I can purchase a small kubana pan?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been looking everywhere for a small kubana pan. So far I have been able to purchase a larger one, but since I am a single person, I have no need for the larger one and would prefer a smaller pan. Is there anywhere (besides Israel) where I can purchase a small kubana pan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately I don't know where to find a small kubana pan here. I did try once to bake the dough in a covered ceramic dish, but I wasn't very happy with the results. My suggestion is to make "kubaniot", the small pieces, in the oven, as I demonstrate here, and freeze them in a ziploc bag. This way you can warm up pieces whenever you want. They will be as good as fresh. Making Kubana is time consuming, so I highly recommend making a lot of it in one time and freeze what you don't need for later. My mother did that. We had a kubana that she made and froze a few weeks after she had died. I cannot describe the feeling in words. Good luck with your baking.

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