Honey is abundent in much of Ethopia. The country is the 10th leading producer of honey in the world and first in Africa. It has many uses, from medicinal to food and drink. One wonderful way the Ethiopians use the honey is to add it to bread. Yemarina Yewotet Dabo is an Ethiopian sweet bread seasoned with honey, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. It is a fairly simple bread, with most of the prep time reserved for rising. It will also make your house smell amazing. I formed the dough into a round loaf, but have also seen braided shapes. Yemarina Yewotet Dabo is best the day it is baked. Cut into slices once it has cooled and serve with butter and honey. It is the perfect accompaniment to breakfast.
More information on Honey in Ethiopia.
I don’t have a 3 quart baking dish, so I used a 10 inch springform pan. It worked well. I often don’t add the 1 teaspoon honey to the yeast water and it still rises without issue.
We also didn’t finish the bread the day of baking, so I placed the extra slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and stuck the baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, I transferred the sliced to a freezer bag. This way, I can place a couple of slices in the oven to warm whenever Evan or I have the craving for bread. You can also use stale slices of the bread for french toast.
Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian Honey Milk Bread)
Adapted from The Wednesday Chef
1/4 cup lukewarm water, 105-115 degrees F
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 large egg
1/2 cup mild honey
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm whole milk, 105-115 degrees F
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
In a small bowl, stir together water, 1 teaspoon sugar or honey, and ginger. Sprinkle with yeast, let sit for a minute, then stir to combine. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, add the egg, 1/2 cup honey, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, salt, milk, butter, and 1 cup of flour. Pour in the frothy yeast mixture and process or mix until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Try not to add anymore flour. Oil a large bowl and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
Heavily grease a 3 inch deep 3 quart round baking dish or 10 inch springform pan with butter.
Punch down the dough and knead a few times before forming into a ball and placing in greased pan, pressing down to cover the bottom. Cover and let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F when the dough is almost finished rising. Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let rest in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.