You don’t need to have a green thumb to make this recipe for Nir Mesika’s Israeli kubaneh flowerpot bread. The individual servings are great for themed parties (Earth Day? Midsommar screening?), or, really, whenever you want to show off your Martha-esque resourcefulness. But don’t let their cuteness fool you: Crispy and buttery and fluffy, kubaneh bread is delicious enough to become a kitchen perennial. Don’t have 16 flowerpots? You can pack any remaining rolls into a buttered cake or springform pan for pull-apart bread.
- Prepare 16 6-inch clay pots by buttering them and placing them on a sheet pan.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix water, yeast, flour, sugar, salt, and 1 egg on low speed. Once fully mixed, turn the mixer up to medium-high and run for 10 minutes. With the machine running, slowly add the butter. Continue to knead until the dough becomes 1 piece (or for about 5 more minutes). Remove the hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, divide the dough into small, evenly sized portions, until you have 16 balls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Spread a thin layer of butter onto your work surface and place a piece of dough in the center. Put some butter onto the palms of your hands and use your hands to flatten the dough until it's approximately 12 inches in diameter. Then roll the dough into a long, skinny log: Starting from the end farthest away from you, push the dough toward you with 8 fingertips until it gathers up into a thick enough piece to begin rolling it, then roll it all the way toward you.
- Wind the log up into a snail shape and place it in the center of the prepared pot.
- Repeat the process for the remaining 15 pieces of dough, buttering your work surface and hands each time as needed. Place pots on a sheet pan and cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the kubaneh bread has almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 330 degrees. Whisk remaining egg with a tablespoon of heavy cream, then gently brush the egg on top of the buns. Bake for 35 minutes.
- After they're baked, allow the kubaneh bread to cool for a few minutes, then serve with some fresh tomatoes and jalapeño on the side.
Dayna Evans is a writer in New York. You can find more of her writing at daynaevans.com.