Khoubiz Mehala is an old traditional Bahraini bread which is usually baked in a special clay oven built in the ground. This delicious lightly sweetened bread is usually served alongside halawah and qahwah. This is the perfect recipe to showcase the true flavors or the Gulf region and what I love most about it is that is not to sweet. I love baking these little golden rounds at night so that my husband can have them for breakfast, he adores them.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1. In a small bowl add yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Sit aside for 5 minutes until frothy. Meanwhile in another small bowl add dates and 1/2 cup boiling water and in another small bowl add saffron and rose water.
2. In a a large mixing bowl add flour, oil, yeast mixture, rose water and egg, mix. In the bowl with dates and water, mash then add to flour mixture, mix well. Add the remaining water until you have a dough like consistency. Knead well. Cover in a warm place with a damp towel and allow to rise for at least an hour.
3. In a small saucepan on make topping. Add sugar, water and cardamom. Allow to come to a full boil stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
4. Shape dough into small rounds and place on a greased or non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet. Brush tops with sugar mixture then sprinkle with seeds. Allow to bake until golden about 15 minutes.