Aparna always comes up with interesting breads for the “We need to Bake”. This time it was KHALIAT NAHAL ( HONEYCOMB BUNS OR BEE’S HIVE BUNS ).These are cute little buns structured in the form of a Bee Hive. The whole grain health bug has caught me too. I have started making an attempt to use whole grain though I haven’t been able to completely make the switch.
The original recipe called for 2½ cups all-purpose flour. I have substituted it with 2 cups of whole wheat flour and reduced the milk to ¾ cup instead of 1. While baking with low protein flours like Whole Wheat, adding Vital Wheat Gluten really helps. Since its purely gluten it goes a long way to improve the elasticity of the dough and rising. The wheat buns were a little dense which was expected,thanks to the flour!!.But if you are used to eating wheat breads you wouldn’t be disappointed with this one. I believe they are traditionally made sweet and glazed with honey flavored syrup. I am more of a savory person so ended up baking the Savory buns. While thinking about filling, Caramelized Onions were the first to cross my mind. They are my favorite!!! I love this bun, the filling in every bite balances the flavor and the taste of the buns.
The below mentioned recipe makes 18 small buns which is good to go with a 9” round pan. Usually cream cheese is used as a filling; but there are plenty of other choices like feta cheese/paneer(cottage cheese)/cheese. And for the Sweet ones: Chocolate,dried fruit like dates, raisins, chopped nuts, chopped fruit , sweetened coconut are great options.
Incase you plan to make the sweet one, here is the recipe.Sugar Syrup/ Glaze : 3/4 cup sugar;1/2 cup water;A pinch of saffron; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 teaspoon lime/ lemon juice. Make the sugar syrup/ glaze during the first rise of the dough. For this put the sugar, water and saffron in a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until it starts thickening a bit. Take it off the heat and add the honey and the lime/ lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool. Keep aside till needed. When the sweet buns come out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top of the “Honeycomb”. The bread should be hot and the syrup/ glaze should be cool. If you want your Honeycomb Buns to be less sweet, just brush the syrup/ glaze over the top. Let it sit for a while for the syrup/ glaze to set a bit. I plan to try the sweet one next time.
Thanks Aparna for the recipe.