Chef: Leda Zenian
Leda Zenian grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, and has a doctorate in economics and demography.
- 1 ¼ package fast active dry yeast
- ⅛ cup lukewarm water
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 3 eggs
- ¼ lb. melted butter
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground mahleb
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Arabic gum
- Egg glaze: 1 egg, beaten
- Garnish: Sesame seeds or black caraway seeds
- Sprinkle yeast over water, add a teaspoon of sugar and stir. Cover lightly and set aside in a warm place.
- Add remaining sugar to the milk in a saucepan, place over heat, and stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.
- Beat eggs in a mixing bowl, or food processor, add butter, yeast and milk. Stir. Sift in flour, one cup at a time (reserving ½ cup of flour). Add remaining ingredients and stir.
- Knead over floured surface for at least 5 minutes. Form dough into ball, cover with plastic sheet, wrap bowl well, and set aside for 3 hours.
- Punch down dough and shape into 10 inch round balls. Place them in a baking pan and set aside for 1 hour.
- Brush surface of each bread with egg glaze and garnish as desired. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden (25-35 minutes).