Recipe for khubz al-abāzīr (bread with seeds)

Original (1) is from the Kitāb al-Wuṣla ilà al-Ḥabīb fi Waṣf il-Tayyibāt wa al-Ṭīb by ibn al-ʿAdīm, as translated by Habeeb Salloum et al. in Scheherazade's Feasts: Foods of the Medieval Arab World, p. 145.

A different translation (2) from the same original is in Charles Perry's Scents and Flavors: a Syrian Cookbook, as part of the recipe for urnīn, #7.86.

Another version (3) can be found in the anonymous Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid, as translated by Nawal Nasrallah, in Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table: A Fourteenth Century Egyptian Cookbook, p. 80.
(1) Take first-rate flour, and on every raṭl put four ūqiyyas of sesame oil, an ūqiyya of sesame seeds, and a handful of pistachios and almonds. When it rises, make patties from it and bake them until brown. This is Khubz al-abāzīr.

(2) Take excellent flour. To every 2 kg add 2/3 kg of sesame oil, 1/6 kg of sesame seeds, and a handful of pistachios and almonds. Wait until the dough rises, then make into cakes and bake until browned. This is khubz al-abāzīr. (Recipe then continues with directions on using this dough to make stuffed urnīn).

(3) Take good flour, and for each raṭl (1 lb/4 cups) use 1/3 raṭl (5 ounces) sesame oil (), 1 ūqiyya (1 ounce) sesame seeds, and a handful () of shelled pistachios and almonds. Knead them together [with some yeast and water]. After the dough rises, shape it into round discs, the thickness of each should be the width of two fingers put together. Bake them in the furn (brick oven), and when they are done, take them out and eat them with ḥalwā (thick pudding).
The Kanz recipe gives a bit more detail, but otherwise these are the same except for possibly a small difference in the amount of sesame oil.

My guess that the Kitāb al-Wuṣla recipe doesn't bother to mention adding any water or yeast to the mix because any competent cook knows they are necessary to make bread is confirmed by the copy of the Kanz recipe specifying their addition.

These come out dry but tasty, with good flavor and nice crumbly crust. They work very well as the base for hays, especially if shaped into rings (kaʿk) before baking, as in the photo below.

MODERN VERSION by Mathilde Eschenbach:

khubz photo INGREDIENTS:
  1. Stir yeast into warm water, let sit a few minutes
  2. Mix all other ingredients together
  3. Stir in water-yeast mixture
  4. Knead until smooth
  5. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for a couple hours
  6. Shape into 16 flat rolls and place on baking stone
  7. Cover again, and let sit while oven preheats to 450° F
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes

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