≡ Menu

Honeycomb Bread

Bite sized stuffed buns that are arranged to look like a “Bee’s Hive” hence known as Honeycomb Bread or Khaliat al Nahal

Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Khaliat al Nahal is a Middle Eastern bread. In the Muslim communities, I believe Khaliat al Nahal is made during the fasting period of Ramadan. Kahliat Nahal (also known as Khaliat al Nahal) translates as Bees’ Hive in Arabic taking its name from its appearance. The buns are baked close to each other in a round pan where they form a honeycomb like pattern. Though one finds Honeycomb Buns are usually sweet, they’re also made with a variety of savory fillings and without the syrup/ glaze naturally.

Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee’s Hive Buns

For the dough, you’ll need –
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

To warm water, add sugar & yeast & mix. Rest for 1 minute
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

In a mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients for the dough & mix
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Add the yeast water to the flour mixture
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Knead for 8-10 minutes on electric mixer or 10-15 minutes by hand to form a soft, elastic ball of dough
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Place in oiled bowl, cover & let it rise in a warm spot for about 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Meanwhile, make the pesto filling. Add all ingredients to a blender / food processor without any extra water
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Grind to a smooth paste!
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, place on a floured surface and roll to a rough log. Cut it into two pieces.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Roll each piece to a log (thick rope) of about 9 inches. (doesn’t really have to be perfect :D)
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Cut the log into 9 – 1 inch pieces. (Or just be as accurate as you can. I’m sure you’ll do a better job than I did!).
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Roll each piece into a small ball and place in the oiled bowl. You’ll have about 18 equal sized pieces.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

For the filling, I decided to just go with the pesto and some boiled corn. To the corn, add your flavorings & mix
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Here’s what I’m using for the final buns –
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Take each piece and flatten it out a little
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Apply some pesto, place half a teaspoon of filling and a small slice of cheese in the center.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Pull up the sides and wrap the dough around the filling, pinching it closed at the top.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Roll it into a round ball. Place this in a well-greased round 9” cake tin. Repeat with the remaining 17 pieces and the filling. Arrange the filled balls of dough in concentric circles, filling the base of the cake tin. Close & let it rise for 30 minutes.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Brush the tops with milk or cream or melted butter or egg wash.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

For savory bread, sprinkle sesame seeds over this.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Bake the buns at 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes, until they’re done and a nice golden brown on top.
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

Cool for 5 minutes, pull apart & enjoy!
Honeycomb Bread Recipe | Bee's Hive Buns

5.0 from 1 reviews
Honeycomb Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 18 mini buns
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 and ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon sugar (only for sweet bread)
  • ¾ to 1 tsp salt (for savoury bread) OR ¼ tsp salt (for sweet bread)
  • 40gm (2 and ½ tablespoons) butter, melted
Pesto (optional)
  • ½ cup Mint Leaves
  • ½ cup Parsley or Cilantro
  • 2 Green Chilli or Jalapeno
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (adjust to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
Filling - make this or any filling of your choice
  • 1 cup boiled Corn kernals
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs of your choice (I used Italian seasoning like Oregano, Thyme)
  • Cheese Cubes / Slices - optional
Others
  • milk or cream for brushing the dough
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds for sprinkling on top (optional; only for savoury bread)
Sugar Syrup/ Glaze - only if making sweet bread
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lime/ lemon juice
Notes - Alternatives
  • Savoury - cream cheese OR crumbled feta cheese OR crumbled paneer/ cottage cheese, flavoured according to your choice. You can also use any other savoury filling that you want. I used a combination of crumbled paneer, herbs, chilli flakes, a little garlic and chopped spring onion.
  • Sweet - cream cheese (traditional filling), or any other filing of your choice like chocolate, dried fruit like dates, apricots or raisins, chopped nuts, chopped fruit , sweetened coconut filling, etc.
Instructions
For the dough
  1. To warm water, add sugar & yeast & mix. Rest for 1 minute
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients for the dough & mix
  3. Add the yeast water to the flour mixture
  4. Knead for 8-10 minutes on electric mixer or 10-15 minutes by hand to form a soft, elastic ball of dough
  5. Place in oiled bowl, cover & let it rise in a warm spot for about 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.
Pesto - Meanwhile, make the pesto filling.
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender / food processor without any extra water & grind to a smooth paste!
Dough - Part II
  1. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, place on a floured surface and roll to a rough log. Cut it into two pieces.
  2. Roll each piece to a log (thick rope) of about 9 inches. (doesn't really have to be perfect)
  3. Cut the log into 9 - 1 inch pieces. (Or just be as accurate as you can)
  4. Roll each piece into a small ball and place in the oiled bowl. You'll have about 18 equal sized pieces.
Filling
  1. For the filling, I decided to just go with the pesto and some boiled corn. To the corn, add your flavorings & mix
  2. Alternatively, use your favorite filling (look at note 1&2 for ideas)
Final Shaping
  1. Take each piece and flatten it out a little
  2. Apply some pesto, place half a teaspoon of filling and a small slice of cheese in the center.
  3. Pull up the sides and wrap the dough around the filling, pinching it closed at the top.
  4. Roll it into a round ball. Place this in a well-greased round 9” cake tin. Repeat with the remaining 17 pieces and the filling. Arrange the filled balls of dough in concentric circles, filling the base of the cake tin. Close & let it rise for 30 minutes.
  5. Brush the tops with milk or cream or melted butter or egg wash. For savory bread, sprinkle sesame seeds over this. Skip for sweet bread
  6. Bake the buns at preheated 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes, until they’re done and a nice golden brown on top.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes, pull apart & enjoy!
Notes
  1. For Savory version, you can really use ANY filling of your choice - but cooked. So cook up some bean mixture / potato mixture / cheese / meat etc the way you like and use as filling. You can skip Pesto if you want
  2. For Sweet Version, cream cheese (traditional filling), or any other filing of your choice like chocolate, dried fruit like dates, apricots or raisins, chopped nuts, chopped fruit , sweetened coconut filling, etc. Finish off with a glaze of sugar syrup for extra oomph! If you’re making the sweet version, make the sugar syrup/ glaze during the first rise of the dough. For this put the sugar, water and saffron in a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until it starts thickening a bit. Take it off the heat and add the honey and the lime/ lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool. Keep aside till needed. When the sweet buns come out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top of the “Honeycomb”. The bread should be hot and the syrup/ glaze should be cool. If you want your Honeycomb Buns to be less sweet, just brush the syrup/ glaze over the top.
  3. As intimidating as 18 servings can be, they're small 2 bite versions & they tend to disappear quickly. Finish them off the same day by sharing with friends & family!

 

About the author: Food blogger-writer, Recipe developer, Food Lover, Picture-taker, Lover of Nutella, Accountant, Dancer, Singer… and a happy soul!

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Manali Shah November 6, 2013, 9:35 am

    I had no idea something like this existed. They look so cute!

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

%d bloggers like this: