Aliya LeeKong makes Honeycomb Bread, as seen on her Cooking with Kids course on Food Network Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of Aliya LeeKong

Khaliat Nahal

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 32 rolls
Yemeni khaliat nahal are pillowy, buttery buns stuffed with cream cheese and glazed with a sweet, orange blossom-scented syrup. Khaliat nahal actually means bee’s hive in Arabic, a perfect description for these honeycomb-shaped rolls. My family loves these for breakfast, like sticky pull-apart rolls, and they are almost as easy to make as they are to eat!





  1. For the bread: Add 1/4 cup lukewarm water (between 105 and 110 degrees F) to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over top. Using a fork, mix gently to combine and let sit until the mixture starts to bubble and foam, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the milk to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the 5 tablespoons of room temperature butter, sugar and salt. Simmer just until the butter melts, about 1 minute, then remove from the heat. It should not be scalding, so let it cool for a bit before adding to the mixture.
  3. Add the egg and 3 3/4 cups of the flour to the bloomed yeast and mix with a fork. Slowly pour in the milk mixture, using the fork to make a shaggy dough. Knead with the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer or your hands for 3 to 4 minutes. The dough should be soft and a bit tacky but should not stick to your hands. If it's sticky, keep adding flour in 1 tablespoon increments until you have a non-sticky consistency. If using a stand mixer, the dough should slide right off when you pull up the dough hook.
  4. Grease a 12-inch pie pan or 12-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick spray. Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface and sprinkle with flour. Divide the dough evenly into 32 pieces. Flatten each piece and place 1 cream cheese square in the center. Form the dough into balls around the cream cheese squares and place next to each other in the greased pan. Once all of the filled dough balls have been rolled, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until puffy and doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Brush the rolls generously with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Bring the sugar and 1/3 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Boil until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the honey and orange blossom water. Let cool while the rolls finish baking.
  8. Once the rolls are done, pour the glaze over the rolls while they are still hot. Allow to cool slightly. Enjoy! 

Cook’s Note

Pouring the glaze over the rolls while they are hot allows all of the sugary goodness to seep into the rolls and deeply flavor them, rather than sitting on the outside. Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. This recipe is appropriate for children of various ages. When a recipe calls for cooking on the stove or using a knife, an adult should do those activities and let the child assist, if age appropriate.