Ancient Egyptian Bread of Ramses III – Kaak, كعك‎
Servings Prep Time
6loaves 1.5hours
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
6loaves 1.5hours
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 15minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 1/4cups Emmer Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/4cups Verjus (Sour Grape Juice)Warm
  • 3tbsp Date Syrup
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl and knead into dough. Make sure that the Verjus is warm. If it is cold, warm it up. The dough would not rise properly if the Verjus is cold. The dough should remain slightly wet. If the dough is too dry add a little bit more water. If the dough is too wet add a little bit more flour. Form the dough into a ball.
  2. Once the dough has been made, put it into a clean bowl and let it rise for one hour in a warm place. Cover the bowl with a wet towel so that it does not dry out. After 1 hour the dough should increase in size by 1.5-2 times the original amount. Cracks should be visible in the dough ball.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. About 10 minutes before the dough is done rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling add 2 tbsp of date syrup to it an mix it up well. The date syrup adds flavor to the bread crust while the dough is boiled in the water.
  5. Cut the risen dough into 6 even pieces and form each piece into a small ball. Alternatively, you can cut into larger balls and make less loaves that are larger in size.
  6. Take each ball of dough and roll it out with your hands into a thin sausage shaped tube.
  7. Begin to roll the tube into a spiral shape.
  8. Tuck the end of the spiral tube underneath the formed bread and pinch the end so it does not unravel. Shape all of the dough balls into spirals.
  9. Place each of the formed spiral breads into the boiling water. Keep gently kicking it around the pot with a wooden stick or a slotted spoon, so that it does not stick to the bottom or to the walls of the pot. Keep boiling for 2 minutes. The spiral dough will sink at first and then should float after about 15 seconds. It is possible that it will not float if the dough is very dense and heave, and that is ok. After 2 minutes take each spiral dough out of the boiling water using the spoon or sticks and place on top of the baking sheet covered in wax paper. You can boil multiple breads simultaneously as long as they fit into the pot.
  10. While the spiral dough is still wet, place the baking sheet into the oven and bake at 450 degrees F for 16 minutes. Once baked, take the bread out of the oven, remove from the wax paper (it should not stick), and place onto a cooling rack. Let the bread cool and rest for about 15 minutes.
  11. Serve the bread while it is still warm.
Recipe Notes

The bread should taste sweet like dates from the date syrup and sour like sourdough from the Verjus. The dough will be somewhat dense as no yeast was used to let it rise like regular bread. Alternatively to date syrup the Egyptians also used barley malt as the sweetener and the sugar to activate fermentation with the sour grape juice. However, I have found in my experiments with this bread that barley malt makes the bread rise less and makes it taste more bitter, which is why I do not recommend using it instead of date syrup.