These are serious contenders for the prize of World’s Cutest Bread… Plump, golden brown, topped with sesame seeds, they are simply irresistible! I found the recipe in Karen’s site, and fell in love at first sight.  I almost made them for the Nobel reception we hosted, but that day was frantic enough without bread baking. In a way, I’m glad I did not push the envelope and tried squeezing in one more culinary project.  But a couple of weeks later, I rolled my sleeves up and went to work.  Not only these are adorable little entities, but they are a ton of fun to make. Surprisingly easy too. I hope I convinced you to bake a batch soon.  You’ll need one exotic ingredient, though. Mahlab. Totally worth searching for, or if you want to make it easy on yourself, click on this link. 

KaKat Snack Bread

(from Karen’s Kitchen Stories)

2 T sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm (105 to 115 degrees F) water
17 to 21 ounces of bread or unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mahlab
1 large egg, beaten
3 to 4 tsp sesame seeds
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the sugar, yeast, and water. Add 12 ounces of the flour, and mix on low with the dough hook for about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Add the salt and mahlab, mix on low. Gradually add flour until you have a dough that is cohesive (I used all of the flour). Mix on low for about 10 minutes. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl until doubled, about 60 to 120 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Divide the dough into 32 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6 inch rope. Form the ropes into rings and place them onto the baking sheets. Keep the rings covered with oiled plastic wrap. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the oven racks in the upper third of the oven. Brush the Ka’kat with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the Ka’kat for about 20 minutes, until golden. Rotate the pans halfway through.  Let cool on the pans for about 5 minutes before serving warm.
Leftovers can be reheated in a hot oven.
to print the recipe, click here

As you know, I have way too many cookbooks, and quite a few are related to bread baking. Still, I could probably get rid of all of them and be happy baking along Karen’s yeast-steps. Yeap, I made up the word. How’s THAT for taking liberties with a second language? Daring is my middle name! Seriously, though. Karen bakes the most amazing breads, and I find myself bookmarking almost every single one of her posts “to make very soon.” Ka’kat was such a nice baking adventure! The dough is smooth, pliable, the smell of the mahlab giving that subliminal message… this is going to be one tasty bread…

Shaping the rings is very easy, although when the dough rises the central hole may or may not be closed… As Karen, I decided not to even worry about it…

A nice coating with egg wash followed by sesame seeds sprinkled on top…


And there you have it, a batch of Ka’Kat ready to be enjoyed, shared with friends, or stored in the freezer for later…

KaKat Platter

I cannot recommend this recipe highly enough, it would be a great project to tackle with kids, they would have fun forming the little dough ropes and then the rings. If you don’t have mahlab, don’t let that stop you from making the bread, but I must say the seeds add a flavor that will leave everybody wondering “what’s in it?”

Karen, thank you once again for inspiring me!  I have so many breads I want to bake from your site, it’s not even funny… but I bet you knew that already…

ONE YEAR AGO: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

TWO YEARS AGO: Sautéed Zucchini with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

THREE YEARS AGO: Orzo with Heirloom Tomato Relish

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Headed to Brazil!

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Rhubarb Brouhaha: Revelation Compote

SIX YEARS AGO: Love me tender…


  1. I’m taking a break from baking bread for a while but I hope to do some fun baking in the future. By the way, if you really can’t find mahlab/mahlepi … almond extract is a ‘close’ approximation of its taste. Who knew that cherry pits/stones had those tasty little kernels inside that could be ground and used in baking? I almost made my own once.🙂


  2. I try to satisfy my bread addiction with winter baking — which will be here soon. Believe it or not, we are getting a Pensys in Albuquerque! I think it opens within the next 30 days or so.


  3. We made these recently too. Although the recipe we used didn’t call for mahlab. The kids were big fans though and want me to make them again. Perhaps I’ll have to find mahlab this time!🙂


  4. I thought that I’d commented on this recipe when you first posted it. It reminds me very much of the “bageleh” that are sold, generally, by Arab vendors in Jerusalem (who call “Bageleh! Bageleh!” to attract customers), and come with a small packet of za’atar for dipping.

    In case you’re interested, here’s a source for a recipe and more information on the topic: http://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/recipes/how-make-jerusalem-bagels/


  5. Pretty sure you ripped this recipe off from the Baking with Julia cookbook. It’s the EXACT same recipe with a little of the wording changed in the directions.


    • I do not rip recipes from cookbooks, if I publish from a cookbook I obtain permission from the author, although in the very early months of my blog I did not do that because I honestly did not think there was a problem. In this particular recipe, I gave the source I used and the link and credit are included. THe discussion about copyright of a list of ingredients and a method of preparation is complex and there are countless shades of gray. If someone does a slight modification of a published recipe but includes the source, no problem. I actually avoid doing that and prefer to stick to recipes published online by magazines or from food bloggers I respect and follow.


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