Recipe contributed by Margalit Ozeri. Kubana is the Yemenite equivalent of monkey bread or pull-apart bread. It is prepared in a special aluminum pot with a lid, but can be made in a Dutch oven or any other medium-sized ovenproof pot with a tight lid. Kubana is typically left in a low-heat oven overnight, so that it steams, and is served for breakfast or brunch on Shabbat (Saturday) morning. This version bakes faster at a higher temperature.
- 7 cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- About 2 cups boiling water
- About ¾ cup butter or margarine
- Oil for greasing bowl and pan
- Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Stir the yeast into the lukewarm water and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the water-yeast mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork. Add the boiling water gradually, stirring and then kneading once the dough comes together more. You may not need all 2 cups of water—just add until you have a smooth, elastic dough that holds together.
- Form a ball with the dough, transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it has doubled in size. Once risen, punch it down, knead it and let it rise again until doubled.
- Grease and lightly flour a Dutch oven or medium-sized ovenproof pot with a lid. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each piece out until you get a flat rectangular “leaf.” Spread butter or margarine on each leaf and roll it up. Layer the rolls in the pot, overlapping them to make them fit. Cover pot and let the dough rise again until it fills the pot and reaches the edges, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When dough is done rising, bake until puffed and golden, about 1¼ hours.