This Ethiopian bread recipe is simple but delicious. Ethiopia is truly the land of milk and honey… especially the honey part! Because of a climate that produces such a diversity of flowering plants, and a rich history of thousands of years of beekeeping, Ethiopia is the leading African nation in production of beeswax and honey and in the top 10 nations worldwide. One way to eat honey is to bake it in bread. This is a recipe for a not-so-common bread called Yemarina Yewotet Dabo. Yemar means honey, yewotet means milk, and dabo means bread in Amharic, one of the main languages of Ethiopia. Most dabo (bread) does not have honey, eggs, nor milk as part of the ingredients, which makes this bread unique. This is adapted from another Honey Bread recipe.
Ingredients for Ethiopian Honey Bread:
1 packet of active, dry yeast
1/2 c of warm water
2 T of honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c honey
1 T ground coriander
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c warm milk
1 stick of butter- 8 T
5 c of flour, plus more for dusting
1) Mix the packet of yeast with the warm water and 2T of honey and allow the yeast to activate. Wait 10 minutes- it is ready if there are bubbles in a cloudy liquid (if not just try again, your yeast may have expired, or the water was too warm/too cold).
2) Whisk the egg, 1/2 c honey, spices and salt together in a small bowl. Gently stir in the yeast mixture when it is ready, and then add the warm milk and the melted stick of butter.
3) Stir 2 c of the flour into the liquid mixture, and incorporate the wet ingredients into it. Add flour 1/2 c at a time while mixing with your hands. I got up to 4 1/2 c but you may need more or less. If you feel that the dough is wet and sticky, keep adding 1/2 cups of flour until the dough is smooth.
4) Lightly flour the table or counter and knead the dough with your knuckles until it is it is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Kids love to help with this part!
5) Place in a lightly oiled metal or glass bowl and cover with a clean towel. It needs to rise for about an hour and a half in a warm place. I put my oven on 100 degrees and let it proof in there, but a sunny window or on top of a radiator has worked in the past. It should double in size.
6) Punch the dough down for a couple of minutes (again, get your karate-chopping kids involved). Form the dough into a loaf, or braid it and place it on the baking sheet, covered with a towel in the same warm place for another 45 minutes.
7) Bake at 325 for an hour. Eat by itself, with butter, honey, jam, or as it is eaten in Ethiopia, with coffee or tea.
You might also like this Ethiopian bread recipe, try: A Sweet Story of Ethiopian Honey