Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ethiopian Honey Rolls

I love homemade bread. I love the smell of my house, the crusty tops of the rolls, and the steamy dough, when you break the bread. I am on a baking bonanza lately, in anticipation of Jonah's first birthday party, and these were my first experiment. They are really crusty, but soft inside, and the flavors are pretty complex. At first bite, you get a sweet, subtle flavor, but as you chew, you can taste the coriander undertones, and the bite of the cloves. Oh, so good. Throw a slice of turkey or cheese on these rolls, or even a smear of hummus, and you have a perfect little lunch.

Don't be scared of yeast. Just make these. 4 Bowls...

Ethiopian Honey Bread/Rolls (Yemarina Yewotet Dabo)

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees)
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lukewarm whole milk
6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
4-5 cups all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Let stand for 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Set the bowl in a warm place for about 5 minutes; mixture should double in volume. If it does not, repeat procedure.

Combine the egg, honey, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a deep bowl, mixing until smooth. Add the yeast mixture, milk, and 5 tablespoons of the melted butter. Beat until well blended. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time, until becomes too stiff to stir.

On a lightly floured board, knead the dough, adding a small amount of flour when necessary to keep from sticking. Knead for about 5 minutes. Place dough in a large, greased bowl. cover with a damp cloth and let sit in warm place for about 1 1/2 hours.

Grease a cookie sheet with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Punch down the dough and knead it again for a few minutes. Shape the dough into a round, and place it on the greased sheet. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Let the bread rise again while oven is preheating. Bake the bread for 1 hour, or until the top is crusty and light golden brown.

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