Honeycomb Bread

by Maznah Umar

Honeycomb Bread (Khaliat Nahal)

Sugar Syrup
11/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water

Boil until the sugar dissolves and is a little bit thick. Let it cool.

Bread (@120 small rolls or balls)
1 cup warm water
1 package of yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup unsalted melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 packages of cream cheese

Place water in the small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and sugar, then cover and let stand 10 minutes until foamy.

Golden honeycomb bread sits in a pan.In a large bowl, put 1 cup of flour, the yeast mixture, butter, egg and sugar. Whisk this mixture together until well blended. Stir the remaining flour and knead the dough until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.

Butter the inside of a large bowl; place dough in bowl, turning to coat the dough ball lightly with butter from the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, (usually a little over an hour). Grease a 12 inch round baking pan with butter (a springform pan will make it easier to transfer to a serving platter later).

Punch the dough down, then break off tiny bits of dough enough to make a ball about ½ inch in diameter. Take each piece of dough, and stretch it out with your fingers, then add a small piece of cheese in its center. Bring the edges together and form a ball so that the cheese is completely enclosed within the dough. Repeat this with all the dough. Place the balls of dough close to each other so that there are no spaces in between. Cover the pan and let it rise for another hour or more.

Bake 375° F until golden brown. Remove from the oven and pour sugar syrup over the hot bread. Remember that the syrup needs to be cool and the bread needs to be steaming hot straight from the oven. Place on a rack to cool and for the syrup to glaze slightly.

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