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Kubaneh

This is a Yemenite sweet bread eaten on the Sabbath. Originally, Kubaneh contained only a little sugar to help the yeast work, but since they came to Israel, Yemenites have had access to cheap sugar and have sweetened the recipe accordingly. This recipe produces a soft, semi-steamed bread. Eat it with melted margarine and jelly, jam, or preserves.

ingredients

serves 8
1 envelope active dry yeast
3 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

method

1. Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the water, along with 1 teaspoon of the sugar.

2. Lightly cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until the yeast foams, about 20 minutes.

3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, ginger, and remaining sugar.

4. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour, then beat in the rest of the water. Stir the mixture until it forms a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead well until the dough is elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover lightly and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

5. Shape the dough into a thick rope. Grease a deep 10-inch tube pan and fill it with the dough. Cover lightly and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

7. Grease a sheet of aluminum foil and cover the tube pan with it.

8. Bake bread for 1 1/2 hours, or lower heat to 250°F and bake overnight as you would a cholent.

9. Pierce the foil with a fork to release steam, then remove carefully so as not burn yourself.

10. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool.

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