Ka'ek Al-quds & Eggs Recipe

A morning visit to Jerusalem is never complete without a newspaper, a ka’ek, two oven-baked eggs, and a small bunched-up paper filled with zaatar.
The sesame seed–coated bread is baked fresh in wood-fired ovens in bakeries across Palestine every morning, then transported on small wooden carts across the streets. Vendors call out “ka’ek, ka’ek” with a musical variety of intonations.

An ideal sandwich bread, ka’ek tastes best with the oven-baked eggs and a pinch of extra-salty zaatar. It is also delicious with falafel, labaneh (strained and seasoned yoghurt), Nabulsi cheese, or anything else that crosses your mind or inspires your palate.

This recipe is extracted from Bethlehem by Fadi Kattan (Hardie Grant, £28), Photography by Ashley Lima.

Try Fadi's recipe for Dibs and Tahinia Shortbread or Houmous Mutabal Bil Tahinia.

Ingredients for Ka'ek Al-quds & Eggs

How to make Ka'ek Al-quds & Eggs

  1. To make the ka’eks, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered milk, salt, baking soda, and yeast. Make a well in the middle and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the warm water. Mix well by hand until you have a homogenous dough. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
  2. Flour the work surface, place the dough on the surface, and cut into four pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With oiled hands, working with one piece of dough at a time, form the dough into a ring. Slowly stretch it into the oblong shape of the Jerusalem ka’ek. Place the ka’ek on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover the ka’eks with a cloth and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  4. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the water and egg white together and brush over the tops of the dough. Mix the sesame seeds with the remaining 1 tablespoon water, and sprinkle evenly onto the ka’ek.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the breads are golden. You may have to rotate the baking sheet to get an even colour.
  6. Once the breads are baked, decrease the oven temperature to 180ºC/350ºF.
  7. To make the eggs, place them in a muffin pan, one whole egg per cavity. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. To serve, slice each ka’ek open as for a sandwich. Peel the eggs, mash them with a fork in a bowl, add the zaatar and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and mix to  combine. Stuff the ka’eks with the egg mixture and enjoy!
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