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Recipe Collection

Ka’ek Al Quds and Eggs

Ashley Lima — 2024

A morning visit to Jerusalem is never complete without a newspaper, a ka’ek, two oven-baked eggs, and a small bunched-up paper filled with zaatar. The sesame seed–coated bread is baked fresh in wood-fired ovens in bakeries across Palestine every morning, then transported on small wooden carts across the streets. Vendors call out “ka’ek, ka’ek” with a musical variety of intonations. An ideal sandwich bread, ka’ek tastes best with the oven-baked eggs and a pinch of extra-salty za’atar. It is also delicious with falafel, labaneh (strained and seasoned yoghurt), Nabulsi cheese, or anything else that crosses your mind or inspires your palate.

Serves: 4

Season: Year Round
Photography: Ashley Lima


400g cups all purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
60g powdered whole milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for shaping

120ml warm water
3 tablespoons water
1 egg white
40g/4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
8 eggs
1 tablespoon za’atar spice blend

  1. To make the ka’eks, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered milk, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and yeast. Make a well in the middle and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the warm water. Mix well by hand until you have a homogenous dough. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for
    1 hour.

  2. Flour the work surface, place the dough on the surface, and cut into four pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  3. With oiled hands, working with one piece of dough at a time, form the dough into a ring. Slowly stretch it into the oblong shape of the Jerusalem ka’ek. Place the ka’ek on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover the ka’eks with a cloth and leave to rise for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF.

  4. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the water and egg white together and brush over the tops of the dough. Mix the sesame seeds with the remaining 1 tablespoon water, and sprinkle evenly onto the ka’ek.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the breads are golden. You may have to rotate the baking sheet to get an even colour.

  6. Once the breads are baked, decrease the oven temperature to 180ºC / 350ºF. To make the eggs, place them in a muffin pan, one whole egg per cavity. Bake for 30 minutes.

  7. To serve, slice each ka’ek open as for a sandwich. Peel the eggs, mash them with a fork in a bowl, add the zaatar and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and mix to combine. Stuff the ka’eks with the egg mixture and enjoy!

Read more: Bethlehem

Bethlehem is a celebration of Palestine — its food, its culture and its people. Fadi Kattan tells the story of his homeland through recipes and vignettes of the people that make it what it is, evoking the colours, smells, tastes and warmth of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The book champions the artisans of Palestine — the olive oil makers and millers of wheat — who amidst unrest and dehumanisation, remind us that there is a culture that must not be forgotten.

Bethlehem by Fadi Kattan (Hardie Grant, £28), Photography by Ashley Lima.

— about the author

Franco-Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan has made championing and sharing the joys of Palestinian cuisine his raison d’être. Having run his Bethelem based restaurant Fawda since 2016, Fadi opened Akub in London in 2023. His first cookbook, Bethlehem, is an ode to his land and his people, championing the producers, artisans and cuisine of one of the world’s richest cultures. He demonstrates so clearly how food is a humanising, preserving force, one that can keep knowledge, tradition and flavour alive.

@fadi.f.kattan | 

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