Israeli Kubaneh

This beautifully rich bread of Yemeni origin has a texture somewhere between a brioche and a rolled flatbread. Browning the butter makes the bread wonderfully moist with a nutty flavor. Maura Kilpatrick from Sofra bakery in Massachusetts shared this recipe with us in the Holiday 2018 issue of Sift.
Prep
50 mins
Bake
40 to 45 mins
Total
4 hrs 15 mins
Yield
16 rolls
Israeli Kubaneh

Instructions

  1. To brown the butter: Have a clean, fine-mesh strainer and heatproof bowl on hand. Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until melted.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the butter separates and the solids start to smell nutty and turn brown, like the color of maple syrup (about 5 minutes).
  3. Strain the butter into the bowl, discarding the strained solids, and set it aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the water, milk, and egg. Add the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix on medium speed until a soft dough begins to form.
  5. Scrape the bowl, switch to the dough hook, and continue to knead for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and stretchy.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly by hand into a smooth ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Lightly flour your work surface. Turn the dough out and press it into a rectangle. Divide it into eight portions, each weighing 3 3/4 to 4 ounces.
  8. Shape each piece into a ball. Brush the tops with some of the browned butter and place on a buttered piece of parchment.
  9. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  10. Brush the inside of a 9" springform pan with browned butter.
  11. Generously brush a second sheet of parchment with browned butter. Place a ball of dough on the buttered parchment and brush the top with more browned butter. Use your hands to flatten and carefully stretch it out to a 10" square. Don't worry about tearing the dough (it will end up on the inside).
  12. Brush more browned butter over the square, then fold the right side over to the center. Fold the left side over the top, making a trifold (letter fold). Brush with more butter and roll the rectangle up into a sausage shape, starting with the short side closest to you.
  13. Place seam side down on the first piece of parchment. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
  14. Using a sharp knife, cut each roll in half across the middle and place, cut side down, in the prepared pan. Place 10 coils around the outside of the pan, a ring of five more inside those coils, and the last one in the center. Cover the pan and let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes, until puffy-looking.
  15. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  16. Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the rolls for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking for 10 or 15 minutes more. Check between the coils for doneness.
  17. Remove the rolls from the oven and brush them with more browned butter.
  18. Let the rolls cool completely before removing from the pan to serve.
  19. Store rolls, covered, on the counter for up to three days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Note that you'll be using the browned butter you make throughout this recipe, so don't be too lavish with it at any one point (until you reach the end!).