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Bread Kunafa

I missed posting anything special during the last Eid. So definitely had to do something special for Bakrid. And a sweet seemed to be the best way to celebrate this festival.

Kunafa is a middle-eastern dessert and has a couple of versions across different countries in the region. The recipe I am sharing with you is a modified version of the traditional Kunafa – made with ingredients which were readily available for me. Instead of the Kunafa dough, which is usually used to make the crust or the outer layer, I am using bread crumbs. This recipe of Bread Kunafa was shared by my friend Salma. Her recipe had a sweet custard filling in it. But since my kids always remember Kunafa as “that cheesy dessert” we had when we visited Abu Dhabi, I decided to add some mozzarella cheese too in the filling.

Few things to keep in mind

  • Bread crumbs: I have used the crust of the bread too to make the crust for this dessert. I did not see much of a difference between not using and using the crust, hence decided to not waste it and use the whole bread slices.
  • Butter/Ghee: Both melted butter and ghee (clarified butter) works for the crust. I prefer adding ghee as milk solids are lower in it and I feel it helps in making the crust a little crispier.
  • Cheese: Using cheese is optional. But we like that added cheesy and the slight salty taste in the kunafa.

Recipe

Ingredient List

  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla Essence – ½ tsp
  • Cornflour – 1+1/2 tbsp
  • Mozzarella Cheese – 100-150 gms, grated
  • Bread – 250 gms (about 12 slices)
  • Melted Butter / Ghee – ¼ Cup
  • Pistachios – for garnishing

For the sugar syrup

  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup

Step by Step Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Take 2 tbsp of milk, add the cornflour to it and keep it aside.
  3. Boil the remaining milk with the sugar.
  4. Once it comes to a boil, add the cornflour mix along with the vanilla essence. Boil it, stirring continuously, till the mixture thickens. Keep it off heat and let it cool.
  5. Take the bread slices and pulse it in a mixer to make bread crumbs. Add the melted butter/ghee to it and mix well.
  6. Grease a 7 or 8 inch round or square tin well on all sides and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  7. Take about 2/3rd of the bread crumbs mix and press it along the bottom of the tin and about 1/2-3/4 of an inch around the sides. Use a spoon or a flat bowl to press it firmly.
  8. Add the milk custard on the bread crumb base and spread it evenly. Next, top it up with the grated mozzarella cheese. Make sure the milk and cheese don’t touch the sides of the tin and are within the bread crumb base.
  9. Finally, add the remaining 1/3rd of the bread crumbs mix and cover the top.
  10. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 min or till the sides turn brown and the top changes colour.
  11. While the bread kunafa is baking, boil the water and sugar together for the sugar syrup.
  12. Boil it for about 10 min till you have a thicker consistency like honey / maple syrup. Keep it aside and let it cool.
  13. Take the kunafa out of the oven once it’s done and let it sit for 10 min.
  14. Flip it onto a serving plate and pour the sugar syrup on it while it is still hot. The kunafa will absorb the syrup slowly.
  15. Garnish with chopped / crushed pistachios. Kunafa tastes best when served hot to enjoy the melted cheese in it.

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