Mkate Wa Ufuta. Say that three times fast. Actually, just say Zanzibar sesame bread, click your heels, and in minutes you can make this simple, indulgent, versatile flatbread made from ingredients we bet you already have in your pantry.
Mkate wa ufuta. We know what you’re thinking. Mkate what?! Yet once you try this unique and chewy, toasty, nutty, densely magnificent sesame flatbread from Zanzibar, you’ll be crooning about it to everyone who’ll listen, even if you don’t know what the name means. It’s essentially a dense griddle bread that’s more about texture than taste. It’s perfect for dipping or dunking or sopping or plain old noshing. As for that name, we’re not quite certain how to pronounce it, even after much research. But you can bet we practice saying it each time we make mkate wa ufuta, which has been often.–Angie Zoobkoff
Mkate Wa Ufuta
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes 6
- 3 1/2 cups (420 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1/4 ounce or 7 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk, plus more as needed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces or 50 grams) mild olive oil or vegetable oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted or untoasted)
- 1. Whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the coconut milk and egg just until combined and knead everything in the bowl or turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. At first the ingredients will be a shaggy mess but eventually a smooth dough will form if you use a lot of strength, usually after 5 to 7 minutes. The dough will be dense and firm rather than spongy and soft. If it seems impossibly dry, add another tablespoon coconut milk as you knead. (Alternatively, you can make the dough in your stand mixer and knead it hands-free for about the same amount of time.)
- 2. Cover the bowl containing the dough with a damp kitchen towel and place it in a warm place to rest for 30 to 60 minutes. The dough will rise slightly and become puffier and softer but it won’t necessarily double in size as we’re accustomed to with most yeasted bread doughs. It’s really more about the resting than the rising. (If you want slightly less dense bread, then it’s preferable to let the dough rest in a very warm place, such as an oven with the pilot light on, and wait for the dough to nearly double in size, although this isn’t necessary.)
- 3. Divide the dough into 6 balls. Pat each ball or slap it between the palms of your hands to form a round shape about 6 1/2 inches wide and between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough rounds on your work surface, rub the top side of each dough round fairly generously with oil, and sprinkle each with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, being certain to gently press the seeds into the dough.
- 4. Heat a large saute pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place a dough round in the skillet,sesame side down, and cook until the top side puffs ever so slightly and the underside turns golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. It may be necessary to reduce the heat to medium-low to find the sweet spot where the bread cooks through but doesn’t become too brown. Rub the top surface of the dough with oil, sprinkle with some sesame seeds and a little salt, and then flip the dough. Cook until the other side is lightly browned and cooked in the middle, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- 5. Transfer the cooked bread to a plate, carefully wipe out the pan with paper towels, and repeat with the remaining dough. (Be certain to wipe out the pan after each bread to remove any lost sesame seeds and prevent them from burning.) Serve the bread warm—preferably straight from the skillet—whether alone, slathered with butter, dipped in pan juices, or dunked into soup, stew, or curry.