I have been wanting to try this recipe since buying “A Baker’s Odyssey” almost a year ago. I have blogged about the Lebanese pita I made a while ago and am slowly working my way through this fantastic collection of recipes from America’s rich immigrant heritage. “Granny” is Greg Patent Iraqi grandmother who did most of the cooking in the Patent household and Greg paints a warm picture of her. If these Kahks are anything to go by Granny was a marvellous cook and baker. These are crunchy and moreish. The simple ingredients don’t hint at the wonderful taste and texture. It goes to show what can be done with basic ingredients. That’s what I love about old traditional recipes. You don’t need fancy expensive ingredients to bake great food.
Granny’s Kahk (Savory Bracelets)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons sugar
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1/2 cup water
fennel, cumin and/or caraway seeds to flavour (optional but delicious)
1 egg, beaten with a pinch salt for egg wash
sesame seeds for sprinkling
Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process for 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse 10 times or until the mixture is the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. With the machine running, add the water in a steady stream, taking 10 seconds to do so. Process for 1 minute. It should gather into a ball. Feel the dough, it should be smooth soft and elastic and no longer sticky. If necessary adjust with small amounts of flour or droplets of water. At this point I divided the mixture into 3 portions and incorporated 1 teaspoon of fennel into one portion, 1 teaspoon cumin seed into the second portion and 1 teaspoon caraway seeds into the third portion. Divide each third into 8 and forms balls. You should have 24 balls of varied flavours. Allow to rest for 20 minutes covered with a kitchen towel.
Heat the oven to 350F/180C and line two trays with silicone paper or liners. Roll each piece of dough beneath your palms into a log 7 inches long and 1/2 inch wide with tapered ends. Bring the ends together, overlapping them by about 1 inch and pinch tightly to seal. Each ring will be about 2 inches in diameter. Set the rings on the prepared sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Paint with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the kahk are golden brown. Rotate sheets to ensure even browning. Cool completely on baking sheets.
These will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks but I doubt they will last that long. They can also be frozen for up to a month but refresh in the oven preheated to 300F/150C for 10 minutes.
Kahk could be made smaller and would be lovely served with drinks along with olives, cheese and salami. They also make a great after school snack or to pop into a lunch box.