I am happy to say I am a member of the MENA Cooking Club.Anyone can be a part of this club, whether you have a blog or not. We choose to host or just cook together, learning about each others countries through food.
This month’s choice of MENA countries was Algeria (hosted by Asmaa from Halal Home Cooking), and I made Algerian Kaak.
Kaak is a dry cookie-like biscuit, barely sweetened, and perfect for dunking in a karak so other sweetened tea. The fennel seeds and lemon zest make this an incredibly fragrant pastry to have wafting from your oven.
I adapted the recipe from La Petite Paniere.
Thank you Noor, the admirable author behind Ya Salam Cooking for coordinating the cooking club.
3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 Tbsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup warm milk
1 egg yolk
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.
In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and the sugar.
Add the eggs, oil, and yeast-milk mix and knead.
Add the lemon zest the fennel seeds and knead for a good 5 minutes until you are left with a dough that holds together when pressed.
Roll your dough into a long log and cut into about 12 (I got 13).
Roll each piece into a 15 cm rope, then join the edges to make a ring-shaped cookie.
Place on a baking sheet and leave to rise for 1 hour covered in plastic.
Brush the rings with an egg yolk and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cook for 15 minutes before consuming.