“Kaik Kaik,” the evening kaik carts song. If you’ve been in Lebanon you most definitely have a memory of the evening Kaik carts and stands that start to appear with their purse shaped bread as the day winds to an end. They come singing the kaik song while enthusiastically honking their little bike horn. Once you made your order you had three options, a fresh plain kaik, with a sprinkle of zaatar or a sprinkle of sumac. It was simple and a perfect way to end the day.
Of course once you have your kaik in hand the options of stuffing it are endless. Fill it with cheese and put it a panini press or spread it with labne a hand full of fresh mint and veggies. Some even like sweet options like jam and butter or chocolate spread with banana. We love ours pressed with kashkaval cheese or with labneh salad.
This bread is slightly chewy and soft with the added crunch of the toasted sesame seeds coating the outside. I think it goes without saying that it is a classic comfort food back home. We hope this recipe can give you a taste from home, away from home.
Prep-time: 30 min
Rest time: 2-3 hours
Yield: 6 medium kaik
- 2.5 cups all purposed flour
- 1 cup whole grain flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp olive oil – plus more for greasing
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp yeast
- 0.5 tsp ground mahlab spice
- 1 cup warm water
- 0.25 cup milk
- 1- 1.5 cups toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup of water for dipping
- In a bowl add all dry ingredients and mix together.
- Add olive oil and use hands to rub oil into flour until its evenly incorporated.
- Mix wet ingredients into flour until the dough starts to come together.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic.
- Place in lightly grease bowl; cover and rest until double in size, 1-2 hours.
- Remove dough from bowl and divide into 6 equal parts; roll into rounds, cover and rest for 20 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin or hands, slightly flatten dough.
- Wet hands and lightly cover both sides of dough; dip and press into sesame seeds making sure all dough is coated.
- Return dough to work surface and roll further into 8 to 9 inches circle depending on how thin you like your kaik. using hand slightly elongate one side of dough into egg shape.
- With circle cutter, cut out a portion of dough close to tapered end to achieve a purse like shape.
- Place kaik and kaik hole on parchment lined baking sheet.
- cover and rest for 30 minutes before placing in a 475 F oven on middle rack until golden; about 10 minutes.