[repost with revised recipe]
Aahh… the golden beehive in a tray. This heart-warming carby goodness is all the craze in the middle east, especially among my Saudi (and Algerian) friends. Whenever a lady comes to a potluck party with a tray of these, the entire room turns to her and takes a big sniff in… in attempt to have the biggest share of the sweet suckle and tender smell freshly baked hives emanate. Usually portions are one bun per person. Ha, what a joke! But then again, a baking tray can only fit so many buns, right?
Undoubtedly, each woman at the party sneaks two onto her plate, and maybe one in the mouth when no one is looking… diet? What diet? I’ll start that tomorrow (because you don’t go to potlucks everyday, now do you?!) Then come the ladies that missed out, wishing under their breaths that there had been a second tray, and gently cussing the ladies that got 3.
I’m not overreacting here. The buns are really that good, and if you don’t believe me, you’ll just have to try them for yourself with a cuppa!
The dough recipe I use here is from an old housewife, and good friend. She, of course, does not use measurements precisely, but a dough is a dough, and if you’re a good baker, you will be able to make this dough beautifully. Feel free to use a milk bread dough recipe if you’re more comfortable with that.
Yields: one 12-inch tray
4 cup plain flour
2 handfuls of powdered milk
1 to 2 cups warm water
2 tbs instant yeast
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup flavourless oil
1/2 tsp honey + water to loosen
1 small egg for an egg wash
1 x 250g tub of cream cheese (or your fave filling)
black seeds (Nigella Sativa) or sesame seeds to decorate
Combine the flour, salt, sugar, milk powder and instant yeast in a large bowl.
Make a well in the centre and add 1 cup water and oil. Combine, adding more water until dough comes together.
Knead with a dough hook (or by hand) until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic.
Oil and allow to rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Split the dough into large walnut sized segments, roll into a ball and flatten slightly.
Place a teaspoon of cream cheese in the centre and pinch dough together to form a ball. Roll between your palms to smooth out the surface. Repeat for remaining dough.
Arrange stuffed buns in a greased 12-inch baking tray, about a centimetre (1/2 inch) apart.
Brush buns with an egg wash and decorate with sesame/black seeds.
Allow to rise, covered, for another 30 mins – 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 fan). Bake buns on the middle rack until golden brown.
In a small dish, drizzle the honey, adding a few drops of water to loosen.
When the buns are ready and still hot, brush over the honey mixture, serve warm from the oven with a cuppa! 🙂