Linda Sarhan loves making last desserts and enjoys sharing recipes with others.
Egyptian palace bread, also known as Aish El-Saraya, is a simple and easy dessert. It has been prepared for generations, and in most cases, many Egyptians have their own variations to the recipe.
It isn't entirely clear on how this recipe came about or how it came got its name. One thing is certain, bread has been a huge staple of the Egyptian diet since ancient times. Early Egyptians didn't have access to rice, potatoes, and corn as they do today. That all came later in history due to import trade. However, the early Egyptians did have plenty of wheat and barley. Therefore, many of them became skilled at bread making. Even today, as times have changed, so have the recipes. Each recipe has evolved to include a taste of the past combined with the convinces of the present day.
This particular recipe is a basic one. I usually make more than enough, that way there is plenty to go around in the event that we have guests. You can modify the recipe to serve one person to an entire party. As you become more familiar with preparing this dish, you will see how some of the measuring falls away and you could do this recipe effortlessly just by look-see measuring according to preference.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 30 min
Serves 12 people
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- 36 slices bread, wheat or white
- 16 ounces pure honey
- ground cinnamon, (optional)
- cooking spray
- heavy cream, (optional)
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- 8" x 12" baking pan
- sharp knife (to cut off bread crusts)
- butter knife (optional)
- Begin by spraying a 8"x12" pan with cooking spray. This will help eliminate the honey bread from sticking to the pan during baking.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the bread crusts.
- Take 12 slices of crust-less bread and line the first layer of the pan.
- Add a generous amount of honey to cover each piece of bread. I usually use a butter knife to spread the honey around more evenly.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 twice until you have three layers.
- I like to make sure there is a generous amount of honey dripping down along the edges.
- Cover and let the bread and honey layers sit for about 30-40 minutes to allow the bread to soak up all of the honey.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C) while waiting for the bread to soak up the honey.
- After the bread has set for about 30 minutes, sprinkle the top lightly with ground cinnamon.
- Place in the oven and back for about 45 to 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, place in refrigerator to chill.
- Once it has chilled, cut into squares or rectangles and serve.
- Add a small about of heavy cream atop to Egyptian palace bread when ready to serve. This step, of course, is optional depending upon preference.
Variations of Egyptian Bread
- Go nuts! Consider adding some nuts between each layer of bread and honey. Finely chopped walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans are the best to use with this recipe.
- Topping choices: Although this dessert is great without a topping, there are a variety of topping choices besides heavy cream. Consider making it a la mode by adding a scoop of ice cream. What about your favorite fruit, such as berries, bananas, or peaches? Even consider putting the fruit between the layers as well.
- Dark chocolate: Chocolate is another great topping option. But don't use that chocolate syrup stuff. Do the chocolate up right. Melt some dark chocolate chips. Then drizzle diagonally across each layered slice. Then refrigerate. This will harden the dark chocolate. The reason why you should use dark chocolate is because dark chocolate is not as sweet; it has more of a bitter taste. This comes in handy as the Egyptian Palace Bread is already very sweet.
- Another preparation option: Some people prefer to heat 1 cup of honey in a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 1/4 pound butter on low heat for about 10 minutes. Then they will soak the bread in this mixture.
- Serve warm: Instead of chilling in the refrigerator, consider serving this dish warm. This especially goes will with a scoop of ice cream.
© 2014 Linda Sarhan