Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ka'ak - Ring Shaped Crackers

I'm back!
You may have been wondering where I've been for the last 100 of Nomi's blog posts. My reason for being MIA?
My school's play, The Diary of Anne Frank!

Yes, I was in my high school play, as Mrs. Frank, and therefore had no time for my life at all. Now that (sadly!) it's over, I have way too much free time on my hands, and am so ready to get back into the blogging world!
For my grand re-opening, I teamed up with my mom and made the Syrian classic, Ka'ak.

Now, to warn you, this is a slightly time consuming project, but is perfect to do with a friend, family member, or child. (Or even by yourself rocking out to your headphones!)

My mom was kind enough to model for me as I took pictures for every step of the way.

Finished result:

Mmm.. so.... how to make these delicious snacks? First, the dough. Use a stand mixer and combine all ingredients. After the dough has risen, it's time to do the real work.
How pretty and puffy! Time to punch it down--get your anger out and deflate it.
There we go. Now the dough is too big to work with as one blob, so with your hands or a knife just cut it in half and cut those halves in halves as well. Basically, just get it into 4ths. Now roll one of the 1/4s into a long log.
Then cut it into pieces....
And roll each of those slices into long and kinda thin logs.
Now, with a smaller knife, cut little slits into each log. (Careful not to make them too deep, though, cuz then you may have a broken Ka'ak on your hands.)
See what the slits do? Pretty Ka'ak!
Now for the last step: dipping into egg and sesame seeds.
And there you have it! Delicious and unique home made Ka'ak, just like Grandma's.
My mom told me today that my grandma told her that the special ingredient in Ka'ak, Mechlab, is actually ground up cherry pits.
Interesting, considering I would never think of grinding up a pit of a cherry.


The (more precise) recipe:

1 1/2 tbs. yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
6 cups flour
1/2 cup oil
2 tbs. anise-seed
1 tbs. mechlab--this ingredient can be bought at a middle eastern store, and although it's pretty pricey, it gives the Ka'ak its signature flavor
1 tbs. salt

one egg
about 1 cup sesame seeds

Put yeast, sugar, and warm water in a bowl or if you have one, a stand mixer (equipped with dough hook). After the yeast proofs, which will take about two minutes, add the rest of the ingredients (flour, oil, anise, mechlab, and lastly salt.)
Knead these ingredients together for 10 minutes.

Put dough into greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for an hour to an hour and a half--it should double in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once the dough is done, follow the tutorial: divide dough into 1/4s. for each quarter do the following: roll it into a log, cut that log into pieces, and roll those pieces into logs as well. Use a knife to make small slits along the logs. Form them into rings and take each one and dip into a mixed egg then into a bowl of sesame seeds. For the egg mixture to go further, you can mix in some water.

Bake the ka'ak for 10 minutes on the bottom rack then switch to top rack and bake for 10 minutes more. Do this for each tray you complete. After each tray has had a total of 20 minutes in the oven, you can compile all the ka'ak onto one tray, just pile them on. Then lower the heat to 300 and bake for 15 more minutes. This makes the ka'ak crisp and crunchy.

1 comment:

  1. Katie loved these! Thanks for making them for her.
    Also, just wanted to add that these are great toasted!!