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May 5, 2015

Ka'kat - Middle Eastern Snack Bread

These tiny little Ka'kat rolls are a Middle Eastern street food and are flavored with mahleb, the ground kernels of black cherries.

When I pulled these out of the oven after a long day of baking, I could not stop myself from buttering and eating these. The aroma from the mahleb kept calling me back to the cooling rack "just to make sure" these turned out.

Besides, these are ever so small. They hardly count, right?

They are supposed to be shaped like mini bagels, with a hole in the middle. Mine started out that way, but the holes kind of grew together. I'm not going to worry about that because these are goooood! If you look closely, there IS a slight indent.

You can find mahleb in Middle Eastern market as well as online. You don't need the mahleb to make these adorable and delicious little rolls, but you will be extra happy if you do. Now that I have my jar of the stuff, I'll definitely be making these Ka'kat breads over and over. They are that good.

This recipe is adapted from Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best Bakers.

It is the recipe selection for the Tuesdays with Dorie group for this week. This one is definitely a keeper.

The recipe makes 32 mini rolls. If that's too many to eat in a couple of days, wrap them individually and place them in a freezer bag. Take them out and thaw, wrapped, and then unwrap and reheat in a 350 degree oven. Worth it.

Ka'kat Bread Recipe


2 T sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm (105 to 115 degrees F) water
17 to 21 ounces of bread or unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mahleb
1 large egg, beaten
3 to 4 tsp sesame seeds


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the sugar, yeast, and water. 
  2. Add 12 ounces of the flour, and mix on low with the dough hook for about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the salt and mahleb, and mix on low. Gradually add flour until you have a dough that is cohesive (I used all of the flour). Mix on low for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl until doubled, about 60 to 120 minutes. 
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Divide the dough into 32 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6 inch rope. Form the ropes into rings and place them onto the baking sheets. Keep the rings covered with oiled plastic wrap. 
  6. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the oven racks in the upper third of the oven. Brush the Ka'kat with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
  8. Bake the Ka'kat for about 20 minutes, until golden. Rotate the pans halfway through. 
  9. Let cool on the pans for about 5 minutes before serving warm. Leftovers can be reheated in a hot oven. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. I thought these were so good too!! Such a surprise! I made half with coarse salt on top and they totally tasted like a soft pretzel!

  2. Your's look really good. I couldn't get any mahleb, so I used Almond paste. I can't wait to try them... :)

  3. Very pretty!
    These were tasty - I agree, when something is that small, eating multiples is obligatory.

  4. Wow they look soft and delicious, I never had mahleb and now I can't wait to try it!

  5. I've never heard of mahleb (or mahlab) but I love cherries and can't wait to find this spice. These rolls look marvelous and from your description I can just imagine the aroma.Yum!

  6. They look so golden brown and yummy! As far as I'm concerned, the lack of hole in the middle just means more surface area for butter!

  7. Yum!! These look so good. My husband is half Lebanese and we eat a ton of Middle Eastern food but I have never had these! Thanks for introducing me to a new recipe to try!

    1. Thanks Michelle! I'm hoping they are somewhat authentic! At least the mahleb is!

  8. yum! these were tasty little breads, i scarfed down four of them right away!

  9. Glad you liked these so much. I will have to try them again. With mahlab...

  10. Dough is rising right now.... wish me luck! ;-)

    the mahleb smells amazing once you grind it... my first time using this spice

    1. Fingers crossed!! I feel so responsible!! =)

    2. Karen they look soooo cute! Just took them out of the oven... I will post a preview on Facebook and shall tag you, Oh Master Goddess Baker Extraordinaire!


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