Ka’ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

Ka’ak Bread | Lebanese Purse Bread, is a very popular flatbread found in the streets of Beirut, Lebanon. The bread is often shaped in a tear drop shape with a hole in the center making it look like a purse. 

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

Ka’ak is a very famous and popular street bread sold all over the city of Beirut. It is mostly sold by street vendors on a bicycle where they hang the bread from the pole for easy transportation. The Ka’ak bread is also called the handbag bread or the purse bread because of its shape.

The vendors would happily slit the bread and coat it with Za’atar or local cheese. The bread is a very basic simple recipe which is slightly crusty on the outside and has a great airy crumb inside. This bread has a 3 rise instead of the regular 2 rises and that really makes a difference in the flavor. I totally enjoyed shaping the bread and it was such an awesome bake.


Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

The images of the bread hanging from the carts of the street vendors was so appealing and I now have even more reason to go visit these cities to enjoy the local food. The texture of the bread is greatly enhanced when baked with steam. The steam can be skipped and the bread can be baked as is, but I would personally recommend baking it with the steam.

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

My Other recipes in the A-Z International Flatbread Series –

A for Aish Baladi
B for Boulanee Katchalu
C for Chickpea Flatbread / Socca
D for Dhal Puri
E for Emirati Khameer 
F for Fruit Focaccia
G for Gozleme
H for Himbasha
I for Indian Fry Bread
J for Janta Roti

Preparation time – 15 minutes plus about 3 hours of resting time
Baking time – 10 to 12 minutes per batch
Difficulty level – Intermediate
Recipe adapted from – My Diverse Kitchen

Ingredients to make Ka’ak Bread | Lebanese Purse Bread – Makes 4

  • All purpose flour – 1 3/4 cup
  • Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup
  • Active dry yeast – 1/2 TBSP
  • Sugar – 2 TBSP
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Warm milk – 3/4 cup
  • Warm water – as needed to make a soft dough
  • Olive oil – 1 TBSP
  • Milk / Egg Wash – for brushing over the dough
  • Sesame seeds – about 2 TBSP

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

Procedure to make Ka’ak Bread | Lebanese Purse Bread –

Making the Dough –

  • Measure the milk and warm it just enough to proof the yeast. Add the sugar and the yeast and mix well. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, the mixture should be frothy. If not, the yeast is not active and you will need to start with a new batch of yeast.
  • I made my dough in the stand mixer. Add the flours, salt, oil and the yeast mixture to the bowl of the mixer. Using a dough hook, start mixing the flour until they come together. you might need a little more warm water to make a soft dough.
  • The dough should be quite soft, but not sticky. Knead the dough for about 7 to 8 minutes and then place it in a greased bowl to rise. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume. I love using the proof setting in my oven. The dough every time proofs perfectly in the setting and does not take more than an hour.
  • Bring the dough out after the first rise and knead it gently for a minute. Form it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl for the second rise. It took me less than an hour for the second rise.

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

Shaping and Baking –

  • After the second rise, place the dough on a floured surface. Divide it into 4 equal sized ball.
  • Prepare 2 baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Working with one piece of dough, flatten it and roll it into a tear drop shape. Keep the thickness of the dough to about 1/2 inch. My dough was rolled to about 6 inches long.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out a ring from the narrow part of the rolled dough. Slightly pull the dough to elongate the shape and place it on the prepared baking sheet.

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

  • Repeat the same with the rest of the dough, keeping 2 pieces per tray.
  • Cover the trays and let the shaped bread proof for about 30 minutes or until slightly puffy.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 F. I used steam to bake the bread. To create steam, I place a aluminum tray half filled with water in the bottom most shelf of the oven when it is preheating. The water also heats up and there is enough steam inside the oven when we are ready to place the bread inside.
  • When the bread is done rising, brush it with egg wash or I just use milk to brush my breads. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

  • When the oven has preheated, bake one tray at a time for about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating once in between for even baking.
  • The bread should appear golden brown when done.

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

Ka'ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread
5 from 4 votes
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Ka'ak Bread | Lebanese Purse Bread

Ka'ak Bread | Lebanese Purse Bread, is a very popular flatbread found in the streets of Beirut, Lebanon. The bread is often shaped in a tear drop shape with a hole in the center making it look like a purse. 

Course Baking, Breakfast, Flatbread, Street Food
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Keyword Baking, Bread, breakfast, flatbread, Handbag Bread, Lebanese Bread, Purse Bread, Street food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting time 3 hours
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 Breads

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cup
  • Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
  • Active dry yeast - 1/2 TBSP
  • Sugar - 2 TBSP
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Warm milk - 3/4 cup
  • Warm water - as needed to make a soft dough
  • Olive oil - 1 TBSP
  • Milk / Egg Wash - for brushing over the dough
  • Sesame seeds - about 2 TBSP

Instructions

Making the Dough -

  1. Measure the milk and warm it just enough to proof the yeast. Add the sugar and the yeast and mix well. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, the mixture should be frothy. If not, the yeast is not active and you will need to start with a new batch of yeast.
  2. I made my dough in the stand mixer. Add the flours, salt, oil and the yeast mixture to the bowl of the mixer. Using a dough hook, start mixing the flour until they come together. you might need a little more warm water to make a soft dough.
  3. The dough should be quite soft, but not sticky. Knead the dough for about 7 to 8 minutes and then place it in a greased bowl to rise. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume. I love using the proof setting in my oven. The dough every time proofs perfectly in the setting and does not take more than an hour.
  4. Bring the dough out after the first rise and knead it gently for a minute. Form it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl for the second rise. It took me less than an hour for the second rise.

Shaping an Baking -

  1. After the second rise, place the dough on a floured surface. Divide it into 4 equal sized ball.
  2. Prepare 2 baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Working with one piece of dough, flatten it and roll it into a tear drop shape. Keep the thickness of the dough to about 1/2 inch. My dough was rolled to about 6 inches long.
  4. Using a cookie cutter, cut out a ring from the narrow part of the rolled dough. Slightly pull the dough to elongate the shape and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough, keeping 2 pieces per tray.
  6. Cover the trays and let the shaped bread proof for about 30 minutes or until slightly puffy.
  7. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 F. I used steam to bake the bread. To create steam, I place a aluminum tray half filled with water in the bottom most shelf of the oven when it is preheating. The water also heats up and there is enough steam inside the oven when we are ready to place the bread inside.
  8. When the bread is done rising, brush it with egg wash or I just use milk to brush my breads. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. When the oven has preheated, bake one tray at a time for about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating once in between for even baking.
  10. The bread should appear golden brown when done.

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7 thoughts on “Ka’ak Bread | Kaak | Lebanese Purse Bread

  1. I am a bag collector and this would be an awesome addition to it! Thrice risen bread gets an awesome flavour…and baking with steam would just be the icing on top! I have to try this asap!!

  2. That is a beautifully shaped bread. This is so cute. After seeing yours and Priya’s I am tempted to try it. The three rises must add a nice flavour to the bread..

  3. We are in same wavelength again Sandhya, even my choice for K is Kaak, and trust me yours looks more pretty than mine. I just enjoyed making this bread. Am planning to make them again as my kids loved this bread.

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