Date Stuffed Bread (Ka'ek Bil Tamer)

Ka'ek bil tamer, or date stuffed bread, reminds me of mornings in Amman, Jordan. Every bakery sells this amazing treat. As a little kid, any time I would go to a bakery with my mom or grandma to pick up fresh pita bread, I would always ask for this treat. The combination of soft dough and the sweet, spiced dates is out of this world amazing. 

I used to avoid making anything that required a yeast dough because every time I tried, it would be a huge fail. We're talking hard rock dough balls. After many, many, many attempts, I've finally learned a few tricks. Rule number one is that you should always spoon and level your flour when measuring. If you don't do that, you could be using too much flour and not enough liquid and yeast! The result will be a rock of dough really. This rule generally applies to any baked goods (cakes, cookies, etc.). Rule number two: always, always let your dough rise for more than an hour. Dough needs to rise slowly, in a draft free environment. If you don't allow your dough to rise properly, it won't be easy to work with. 

I used baking dates for this recipe. I've seen recipes using regular dates, but I feel like the recipe is much more smooth if you use baking dates. You can find this at any Middle Eastern grocery store, usually in the baking section. 

To make the date filling, combine the baking dates with the oil and spices and roll into equal sized balls. This recipe calls for 10. Roll them and set aside while you work with your dough. 

Roll out each piece of dough until it's about 2"x10" in size. Place one piece of the date filling across the dough and roll the dough around it, making sure to cover all the date filling. 

Join the two edges of the dough to form a circle and pin the edges together. Using a pair of scissors, cut about 1/2 inch cuts around the dough circle (this will give you the openings and help the dough bake quicker). 

Place your dough circles on a baking sheet. Whisk your egg and water together and brush dough with your egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let the dough rest on your baking sheet for 10-20 minutes before baking. 

Bake the date stuffed bread for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Make sure to keep an eye on the bread so you don't burn the sesame seeds.

 

Enjoy with a cup of tea for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack! 

Date Stuffed Bread 

Ka'ek Bil Tamer 

Servings: 10 servings 

Prep Time: 60 minutes 

Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

Dough:

1 cup milk, warm 

1/4 cup granulated sugar 

1 tablespoon yeast (or about 2 packets of 1/4 oz yeast) 

3 cups all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup powdered milk 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 packet of vanilla sugar) 

1/4 cup vegetable oil 

Date Mix:

1 package of baking dates (13 oz./375 grams) 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

2 teaspoons ground anise 

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom  

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

Egg Wash: 

1 Egg 

1 tablespoon water or milk 

Toppings:

Raw Sesame Seeds 

Directions: 

1) In a small bowl, combine the milk, granulated sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. 

2) In the bowl of your standing mixer, combine flour, powdered milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Add your milk mixture to the flour and mix using the dough hook attachment. 

3) Mix on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes. 

4) In an oiled bowl, place your dough and cover. Let rest for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size. 

5) Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine date paste, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and vegetable oil. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. 

6) Divide the date paste into 10 equal balls and set aside. 

7) Once the dough has doubled in size, cut into 10 equal sized pieces. 

8) Roll out each piece of dough until its about 2"x10" in size. Place one piece of the date filling across the dough and roll the dough around it, making sure to cover all the date filling. 

9) Join the two edges of the dough to form a circle and pin the edges together. Using a pair of scissors, cut about 1/2 inch cuts around the dough circle (this will give you the openings and help the dough bake quicker). 

10) Place your dough circles on a baking sheet. Whisk your egg and water together and brush dough with your egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let the dough rest on your baking sheet for 10-20 minutes, while your oven preheats. 

11) Preheat your oven to 350F.

12) Bake your bread for 15-17 minutes, until the top is golden brown. 

13) Let cool completely and enjoy! 

Notes: 

- Make sure to use baking dates, and not actual whole dates. 

- It's very important to use raw sesame seeds. 

- Make sure to watch your bread the last few minutes, to avoid burning your sesame seeds. Depending on your oven, the baking time may need to be adjusted. 

- Store bread in an air-tight container for 4 days.