MyKitchenInHalfCups

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Shubbak el-Habayeb ~ BBB

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BBB ~ Shubbak el-Habayeb ~ Lover’s Window
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One of my tasters described Shubbak el-Habayeb in this way “Kept drawing me back.  Familiar but not.  Unidentifiable but I should know it.”  I found this to be a VERY compelling aroma and flavor.  If judgement didn’t intervene, you’d eat all 12 rolls at one sitting.

Yes, I have plenty of cookbooks and Yes, I have a multitude of bread books.  No, I do not NEED any more cookbooks or bread books.  YES, The Book of Buns by Jane Mason (Virtuous Bread) arrived in the mail today because it seems I do KNEAD another bread book! 
Who do I have to thank (blame) for this latest itch for another bread book?  BBB and Kitchen of the Month Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories.
When translated the name Shubak el-Habayeb means The Lover’s Window.  With a name like The Lover’s Window, you’d think there would be a story.  If there is I couldn’t find it. Now, as I think about how my taster described this and how I just wanted to keep eating this, that pretty much describes how you feel about a lover.  There’s your story.

Perhaps visually these might resemble some older factory windows I’ve seen but mostly they make me think of some oddly misshapen face with extra eyes. However, they seem to be sweet, kind eyes. I feel strange I’m having strange visions but these rolls are mysteriously exotic in all the right ways and pair well with elegant cheese and common peanut butter and jelly.
My crumb you can see on this is very tight.  I think that might be due to my using a majority of whole wheat flour and no sugar.  I’ll probably try adding a tablespoon of some sweetener next time (agave, honey or brown sugar) but I doubt I’ll reduce the whole wheat in fact I’m more likely to use all white whole wheat.
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Shubbak el-Habayeb ~ Lover’s Window
DOUGH
600 grams white whole wheat flour, 4 3/4 cups
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
30 grams ground flax seed
100 g/1/2 cup sugar, omitted
1 cup buttermilk, scalded
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
1/2 teaspoon rose water, omitted
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground mahlab
1 tablespoon salt, cut this a little short
50 grams butter, 3 tablespoons melted and cooled
about 1/2 cup water, added to the dough by wetting you hands as you knead the dough.
For the Glaze
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Sesame seeds

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1. Pour the flour (I used 3 cups white whole wheat and 1 cup bread flour; held back 3/4 cup white whole wheat) into a bowl and whisk in the yeast.   Create a well in the middle and add the milk. Cover the full buttermilk with some of the flour from the sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rest for one hour. I used buttermilk because it was there, I didn’t scald it. I omitted the sugar on purpose: experience has taught me that adding cardamom to anything brings a sweetness that satisfies my taste. Next time I might, maybe add 1 tablespoon for the yeast but I was pretty happy with the rise on these.

2. Add the eggs, flower waters, cardamom, mahlab, and salt to the mixture in the bowl and mix with your hands to form a rough dough. Turn it out onto an unfloured counter, and knead for 10 minutes.

3. Add the butter, and knead for 10 more minutes. While kneading, if the dough is too stiff, dip your hands in the water, and continue to knead. Continue to dip your hands in the water until you have a supple dough. You can also do this with a dough hook, adding the water, one tablespoon at a time.
Since I held back the 3/4 cup white whole wheat, I didn’t really need to add extra water
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4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm spot, covered, for about two hours, until doubled.
I left mine two and a half hours to rise.

5. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form them into balls. Cover with a towel or oiled plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.

6. Roll each ball with a rolling pin into a square that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough with a sharp knife to make short vertical cuts in each quadrant of the dough. Open the slits with your hands to make sure they are cut through.

7. Place the squares on baking sheets (you will need two sheet pans, prepared with parchment or Silpat), six squares per pan.

8. Cover each sheet pan with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for one hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) with a rack in the middle of the oven.

9. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and brush the glaze over the rolls on one of the sheet pans. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake the first pan of rolls for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the second pan of rolls.

http://www.virtuousbread.com
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The shape of these reminds me a little of Dhakai Bakharkhani/ Baqeerkhani (Crisp Flatbreads from Dhaka, Bangladesh) that we baked when Aparna was kitchen of the month but there the similarity ends.

If you make this recipe by the end of this month and send Karen a photo or a link to your blog post (if you don’t have a blog, just send a photo), you will be featured in a round up on her blog. She’ll even send you a fancy Buddy Badge! Send your contribution to her at karen.h.kerr@gmail.com, with the subject line, BBB. Please visit all of the Bread Baking Babes and check out their versions of this month’s recipe:

Come On! You KNEAD to bake these.

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Author: MyKitchenInHalfCups

Love baking bread Love travel Bread Baking Babe (group)

11 thoughts on “Shubbak el-Habayeb ~ BBB

  1. They do look subtly like faces to me too. Love your photos and the fact that you used whole wheat.

    I love that you got the book, and I am happy to take the credit (blame)! I want to make everything in it!

  2. O Tanna you won’t be sorry for buying this book (even though I totally recognize the seduction to buy them ánd the reason of not being sensible of giving in to the seduction now and then), I baked all of the recipe, but for 3… they’ll be baked too. and there are so many lovely breads in it. Love rolls anyway. Love that your buns are so thick and golden!

  3. Oh, I LOVE the idea of poached eggs on these. Poached eggs on toast is one of my favorite breakfasts.

  4. There is something about this that is so familiar, isn’t there? While I know that we never had mahlab in the house when I was growing up, the flavour it offers is definitely familiar. And yet, as you say, unfamiliar.

    I love that you added flaxseed to your buns! And don’t they look beautiful?

    I’m still trying to decide how I can argue that there really is room on the shelf for The Book of Buns. It does seem like it must be a particularly good book….

    • There are less than a handful of recipes that I would hesitate to bake. And all are really interesting.
      I suppose the fact that it seems familiar but not is why you can play with substitutions.
      Always add flash seed if there in the pantry and I remember.

  5. It almost looks like a bagel crumb….. Whatever, it looks good and I want it with eggs!

  6. Pingback: Shubbak el-Habayak.

  7. Tanna, Your buns look lovely! I know what you mean about needing to be careful not to eat them all at once. There is something familiar about this bread. I’m tempted to get this cookbook as well.

    • Cathy I don’t know what to say about buy another bread book BUT the recipes in this one are really fascinating and seem so perfect for baking often. I simply had to have it. Baking one tomorrow!

  8. Totally cracking up, Tanna. Factory windows? No! They do remind me of buttons, though. Also, I’m pretty sure I can smell the aroma from here. I’ve never heard of mahlab. Did I read too fast? Googling…

    • You know the old fashion small panes with black dividers. But Aparna had a much better and more logical picture of a divided window that lovers might be allowed to talk through without full contact. ha.

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