Ka’ak is the Arabic word for “cake” and is used to refer to many types of different baked treats. This anise flavored sweet bread gets its yellow color from turmeric and is stuffed with a spiced, pureed date mixture. It smells wonderful while baking and is served with tea. This recipe makes two rings but you can vary the size and make smaller individually-sized rings.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground anise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup melted butter
Spice date paste
- 1-2 pound pitted dates
- 1 Tablespoon samna baladiya (clarified butter)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground habat al baraka (black seeds or nigella seeds)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar, salt, anise and turmeric).
- In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients (egg white, milk, water and butter) then add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix and knead until a dough is formed (about 5 minutes).
- Coat the bowl in a little oil, cover the dough and let rise until it is double is size, about one hour.
- In the meantime, prepare the date paste by pouring boiling water over the pitted dates to soften, let sit for 10-15 minutes. Then drain.
- Add the dates to a food processor (first coat the blades in a little oil) and add the butter and spices. Puree until smooth and place in the fridge to firm up somewhat.
- When the dough has risen, divide into two balls.
- Roll out the ball into a large, dinner-plate size circle. Take half the date mixture and form first into a long snake and bring the ends together to form a ring, place on top of the dough circle leaving 2 inches around the edge.
- Fold the dough edges over the date ring to enclose, then make a hole in the middle of the dough and press the edges together to make the stuffed dough ring, flatten slightly. Cut slits all around at 1-2 inch intervals.
- Cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine the egg wash ingredients and brush over the dough rings.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.