Updated: Apr 20
Mafhoosa مفحوسة is a classic sweet Yemeni dish made out of fresh bread. This dish comes in many variations across different regions in Yemen - I grew up with this Sana'ani style where the bread is made from scratch, ripped apart, and reheated with ghee and honey. Some of us love adding toppings like fresh banana slices. This treat can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
I've seen some people make mafhoosa with commercial breads like toast and buns - that technically works but it doesn't come anywhere close to the fresh bread made with whole wheat flour.
I also love this recipe because it can be easily freezes in ziplocks and reheated. The recipe measurements below will make two half gallon sized ziplocks full of mafhoosa (approximately 8 individual servings).
There are two ways to reheat:
1) On a stove-top, heat your pot/pan of choice and gently toss the bread until it thaws out and warms evenly throughout. You should add small dabs of ghee (about a tablespoon in total). If yolu want to keep this low-fat, just add a dash of water and cover your pot so it can steam. Toss in your honey while hot.
2) Heat your Yemeni magla or Korean bibimbap in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, then add the thawed breadcrumbs along with the small dabs of ghee. Toss every 5 minutes until warm throughout (about 15-20 minutes total depending on how thawed out your breadcrumbs were). Toss in your honey while warm.
If you have any leftovers, just leave them out like cake or cookies but cover well with some aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It'll taste delicious at room temperature once the bread has soaked up all the honey.
5 cups all purpose flour خمس كبايات دقيق أبيض
2 cups whole wheat flour كبايتين دقيق أسمر
1/2 cup ground flax seed نص كباية دقيق حبوب الكتان أو حبوب الكتان المطحونة
1/2 tbsp salt نص ملعقة ك ملح
2 tbsp sugar ملعقتين ك سكر
2 tbsp baking powder ملعقتين ك بيكنق بودر
2 tbsp yeast ملعقتين ك خميرة
2 tbsp black nigella seeds ملعقتين ك حبة سوداء
1.5 cups olive oil كبايتين و نص زيت زيتون
1/4 cup melted ghee ربع كباية سمن مذوب
3 cups warm water ثلاث كبايات ماء دافي
Extra Ghee for toasting زيادة سمن للتحميص
Honey (as desired) عسل حسب الرغبة
In a stand mixer, mix both flours, the ground flax seed, salt, sugar, yeast, black nigella seeds, and baking powder. Mix until well combined.
On low speed, start drizzling in the liquids one a time. Start with the olive oil, ghee, then water. Expect the dough to be sticky.
Once the dough is fully combined, cover with a dish towel and set aside to double in size.
Set up your cooking station with one non-stick pan, a large bowl with warm water for your hand to fit into, and your extra melted ghee. Heat the pan to medium heat.
Flatten the dough into a large naan-like size (as big as your pan is). Dip your hand into the water again to help you flatten it out using your palm. If you don't feel comfortable using your hand, use a flexible wide spatula and go with smaller amounts of dough.
Once the dough is flattened in the pan, drizzle some ghee (about 1 tbsp per bread loaf) around the perimeter of the bread.
Continue cooking until the bottom is browned and you can feel the bread easily sliding in your pan. Use your spatula to pierce holes or slits into your bread. this will help it steam from the middle and cook quickly and more evenly.
Flip the bread once the bottom side is golden. Continue cooking the raw side until it is browned. Don't forget to add some more ghee around the perimeter once your flip it.
Set aside and repeat until you use up all the dough.
Use a food processor to pulse the bread pieces in batches. Using a food processor will give you evenly cut breadcrumbs that are airy and fluffy.
Distribute breadcrumbs into freezable zip locks and freeze up to 6 months.
To reheat - thaw the bread and warm up with some melted ghee. Add a generous amount of honey while hot and mix well. To enjoy immediately, reheat the same way in a stone pot of pot of your choice and mix in with honey while its hot so it melts in nicely.
If your honey is too thick and you are worried about it distributing evenly, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds or insert the honey bottle into a hot water bath.
If you don't have a food processor, rip up the pieces of bread and use a wooden spoon to break them up in a large pot. This will take longer than the food processor, but it is actually the traditional way of breaking up the mafhoosa.