Himbasha is a traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean flatbread with a sweet and savory flavor that is mostly prepared for Christmas.
- 6 cups flour
- 1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon fine salt
- ⅓ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup niter kibbeh (melted and cooled) or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tikur azmud or habba sawda (Ethiopian nigella) or black sesame seeds
- 2 cups lukewarm water (more or less), at 95 F / 36°C
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons niter kibbeh (melted and cooled), or olive oil
- Stand mixer
- Pastry brush
- Sharp knife
- Rolling pin
- 2 round pans (about 12 inches / 30 cm in diameter)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, ground cardamom, sugar, tikur azmud or habba sawda (Ethiopian nigella) or black sesame seeds and mix.
- Dig a well in the center of this mixture, add the yeast in the center of this well and add 1 cup (250 ml) of lukewarm water.
- Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
- Add the melted niter kibbeh and start kneading at low to medium speed while incorporating the rest of the lukewarm water very gradually until you obtain a soft and homogeneous dough that comes off the sides of the bowl.
- Add salt and knead at medium speed for 5 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough and place it, covered with a cloth, in a warm place, away from drafts, for 90 minutes so it can rise.
- At the end of the first rise, knock back the dough on a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two dough pieces.
- Roll out the two dough pieces into a circle about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter.
- Place each circle in a round baking pan, such as a pizza pan.
- Cover the two himbasha, and place them in a warm, draft-free place for 10 minutes, for a second rise.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F (175°C).
- Using a sharp knife, or cookie cutters of different sizes, mark 4 to 5 concentric circles on the first loaf, working from the center to the edges, then make cuts intersecting in the center to form a wheel pattern.
- On the second loaf, make decorative patterns.
- Froth the milk and melted kibbeh niter (or olive oil) in a bowl.
- Brush the himbasha with this mixture and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.