Honeycomb Buns – Khaliat Al Nahal

I’d never seen or heard of Khaliat Al Nahal before I saw it on Gayathri’s blog during last month’s blogging marathon event. This is a beautiful Arabic pull apart bread – sugar syrup soaked, cream cheese filled buns that are soft, sweet and a delightful treat. It looks fabulous and tastes fabulous. I made it yesterday and I have just a few pieces leftover today which is proof enough of how tasty these buns are. Although there are a few components to these honeycomb buns, none of it is complicated or involves any difficult techniques. I loved the picture the first time I saw it and the recipe read like a dream. It has everything I love – yeasted buns (yes), cream cheese filling (oh yes) and sugar syrup for soaking (neat). The honeycomb buns came out beautifully and I am really happy I tried it. I am sending this to Blogging Marathon #33 for the theme – bookmarked recipes from the ABC series.


khaliat al nahal,honeycomb buns

khaliat al nahal,honeycomb buns

I’ve recently been following Gathayri’s blog and I can tell you this much. Gayathri is one hell of a talented cook. Look at the beautiful chequered cake, the frosted roses and the super-elaborate thalis she makes and you’ll know. I am a huge fan of her frosting skills. She makes even the most complicated recipes seem easy. Don’t be fooled, they’re complicated. She’s multi-talented – she cooks, bakes, paints, quilts. I am seriously inspired by her work. If you’re looking for eggless cake/cookie recipes then Gayathri’s blog is THE destination to go to. She’s made “eggless” her middle name. Other than omelettes she’s managed to make everything else eggless. 
khaliat al nahal,honeycomb buns
Lovely golden brown buns just out of the oven

Prep time: 50 minutes
Rising time: 2 hours + 1 hour
Cooking time: 10 minutes (sugar syrup)
Baking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

All purpose Flour/Maida – 3 cups
Milk Powder – 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
Yeast – 2-1/4 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Warm water – 1 cup + 1 tbsp

Filling

Cream cheese – ½ cup

Topping

Sesame seeds for topping

Syrup

Sugar – 1 cup
Water – ½ cup
Honey – 1 tbsp

Method

1.      Take yeast in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp milk and wait till it dissolves and froths up.

2.      In a large bowl, whisk together flour, milk powder, baking powder and sugar. Add warm water, oil and yeast and mix to form a soft dough. Knead for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Place in a warm place for the dough to double in volume. It should take approximately 1-2 hours.

3.      Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round cake pan and set aside.

4.      The dough would have nicely swelled up. Punch out the air and knead to form a log. Divide into 19 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.

5.      Flatten each ball into a small disc and place a teaspoon of cream cheese at the centre. Bring together the edges of the disc to form a ball again. Place the stuffed ball inside the greased pan. Arrange the dough balls in concentric circles to form a honeycomb pattern. Brush the tops of the buns with milk and sprinkle sesame seeds. I was out of sesame seeds so I skipped them. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside for the buns to again double in volume. This would again take about 1 hour or so. Meanwhile preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

6.      Once risen, remove cling film and place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes till the top is a nice golden brown. Rotate midway so that the buns brown evenly.

7.      While the buns bake, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and honey in a saucepan and heat on low till the sugar dissolves. Let boil for another 5 minutes so that it attains a syrupy consistency. Switch off.

8.      Once done, remove pan from oven and pour warm syrup all over the buns. Cover with aluminium foil and set aside for an hour for the buns to soak up the syrup. Then slice and serve.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#33

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