Ka’ek Al-Quds a Crusty and Simple Jerusalem Sesame Bread

Ka’ek Al-Quds – Jerusalem bread is a type of bread baked in Jerusalem. Ka’ak Al-Quds is derived from the ka’ak bread ring which is found throughout the Middle East. Typically, this is a yeasted, crusty bread which is shaped into an oblong ring and covered in sesame seeds. The dough has a lighter texture and is crunchy on the outside.

Ka’ek Al-Quds Jerusalem Sesame Bread

The word ka’ek in Arabic means cake, it can be referred to as cakes or cookies. I have a Kaek and Maamoul Easter Cookies recipe you should also try. We also use this word for ka’ek Al-Quds which is more like a bread generously covered with sesame seeds.

Jerusalem Sesame Bread Dough

Jerusalem

As Palestinians our connection to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) perhaps goes deeper than just a religious one. I’m not sure what it is or how to describe it. Jerusalem is ingrained in our souls and roots. The idea of going for a visit walking down the streets of Salah Al-Din. Getting closer to the walls surrounding the Old City and entering through its Gates.

Walking the narrow roads while browsing the little souvenir shops. The colorful pottery, the olive wood crafts and the different color of pickles. The aroma of spices, the smell of falafel frying or just simply the scent of the Old City gets in your body and soul. Every visit leaves you with a fresh and new experience that you continue to carry.

That was something I not only enjoyed doing every time during my Palestine visits. Maybe it was more of my obligation to the City, a tribute that I may owe! I always felt that my visit home would be incomplete without a visit to Jerusalem, or without lighting my humble candle at Kaniset Al-Qiyameh (Holy Sepulcher Church). Perhaps a statement not just to the world but to myself. This City represents me, it’s in my blood and I owe it at least one visit every time I’m in the country.

I grew up in Ramallah so I do not hold a Jerusalem ID, I’m only allowed to enter the City with a permit. For about seven consecutive years I couldn’t visit the Jerusalem, simply because I could not get a permit. My reason of praying and lighting a candle was not good enough for the Israeli authorities. So I would return to the US with great disappointment, a feeling that my visit was incomplete.

Back to food

ka’ek Al-Quds which is considered one of the city’s icons,  you can find all around the City stacked on pushing carts. ka’ek Al-Quds is a MUST grab before leaveing the city, as my mother use to remind us on our way, “make sure you bring some ka’ek with you.”

Today, I want to bring you a piece of Al-Quds right into your own home. Something that we probably never even thought to try to make at home since it was special enough to get only from Jerusalem. Now that I am so far away from home and with the inspiration of Baba What Does My Name Mean? A beautiful children’s storybook that is essential to add to your children’s library and with this awesome recipe from the Lazeez Kitchen. I was able to make ka’ek and I hope you will all enjoy this recipe.

This recipe turned out to be very easy to follow, and ka’ek turned out really good, crunchy from the outside and soft on the inside. We usually enjoy it best with olive oil ,za’atar, labneh and akawi cheese, or oven-baked eggs.

Here is how to make ka’ek Al Quds:

Ka'ek Al-Quds (Jerusalem Sesame Bread
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Kaek AlQuds Jerusalem Sesame Bread

Ka’ek Al-Quds (Jerusalem Sesame Bread)

  • Author: Wafa Shami
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Baking

Description

Ka’ek Al-Quds – Jerusalem bread is a type of bread baked in Jerusalem. It has a ring shape. Ka’ak Al-Quds is derived from the ka’ak bread ring which is found throughout the Middle East. Typically, this is a yeasted, crusty bread which is shaped into an oblong ring and covered in sesame seeds. The dough has a lighter texture and is crunchy on the outside.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2.5 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 cups multipurpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (for brushing)
  • 8 ounces roasted sesame

Instructions

  1. Mix warm water with yeast and sugar. Then add flour, salt, and oil. Knead for a few minutes until you get a dough.
  2. Rub the bowl and top of the dough with some oil, cover, leave it to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  3. Once risen, with your hands split the dough into 5 small balls, place them on a tray with some flour so they won’t stick. Cover and let them sit for another 15 minutes.
  4. Take each ball and roll it into a long log, then connect it from one side, aiming to make an oval long shape or any other round small shape if you prefer.
  5. Continue to work on shaping the dough, you can let it rest for 1-2 minutes which will help in the shaping process.
  6. Place the ka’ek once shaped in a tray over parchment paper. Then brush with milk, and cover with sesame, flip to the other side and do the same. So both sides are filled with sesame.
  7. Cover again and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450 F, then broil the top for 2 minutes aiming for a golden color.

 


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