It’s the Sunday morning before Rosh Hashana and Norm and I have been busy in the kitchen all morning. Norm is baking bagels and baguettes, experimenting with new recipes. Schav borscht is cooking on the stove, just because there is still so much sorrel in the garden. I have dough rising for challot, and I just made a batch of Kahk. Yesterday I spent the morning looking through three of my favorite Jewish cookbooks. I loved reading about the Sephardic traditions for incorporating specific foods into the Rosh Hashana meal, mainly fruits and vegetables filled with seeds, a symbol of fertility and abundance. Inspired, I decided to make Kahk, a dry, savory, biscuit topped with sesame seeds. Here is to a bountiful New Year!
This recipe is adapted from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food.
1 Tbs instant yeast
1 cup warm water
pinch of sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs anise seed
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets.
Proof yeast in about 1/3 of cup of warm water with the pinch of sugar. In a large bowl, combine flour with salt, cumin, and anise seed. Add the oil and blend into flour. Add yeast mixture and remaining water to flour and knead till you are able to form a ball. Add additional water a little at a time, as needed. Knead for several minutes and then place in oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for about one hour. Punch down dough. Take a walnut size piece of dough and roll between the palm of your hands till you have a 4″ strand. Form a circle and pinch ends together. Repeat till you use all the dough. Brush kahk with a beaten egg and dip into a bowl of sesame seeds. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or till golden.
Yield 30 Kahk