By Chef Fadi Kattan
When I think of Jerusalem, like so many others, I think of the food, the smells, Jerusalem street fare – falafel, ka’ek in Al-Musrara, sweets in the Old City – and the refined lunches and dinners of the old Jerusalemite families.
But ka’ek remains a symbol for me. A symbol of a food that is threatened by appropriation; erroneously and purposely called “Jerusalem bagel.” A symbol that evokes memories of Jerusalemites bringing ka’ek to their relatives on trips abroad. A symbol that brings to mind memories of breaking open the ka’ek, cracking the beid mashwi (wood-oven-baked eggs), and sprinkling the top with some of that salt and za’atar mix they give you at Jerusalem bakeries.
400 g flour
¼ cup powdered milk
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
125 ml warm water
For the wash
2 tbsp water
1 egg white
40 g toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, powdered milk, salt, yeast, and baking soda.
- Make a well in the middle and add the olive oil and water.
- Mix well with your hands until you have a homogenous dough.
- Knead the dough for ten minutes.
- Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for an hour.
- Flour a working surface. Place the dough on the surface and cut into four pieces.
- With oiled hands, work the dough into a ring and then slowly stretch it into the oblong shape of the Jerusalem ka’ek. Place the ka’ek on a baking tray layered with baking paper.
- Cover with a cloth and leave to rise another fifteen minutes.
- Prepare the wash: using a fork, whisk the water and egg white.
- Immediately prior to baking, brush the egg wash onto the ka’ek and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. You may have to flip the baking tray around in the oven to get a perfect color.