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Ka'ek Al Quds (Jerusalem sesame bread)

Have a go at baking some sesame bread from Jerusalem, known as Ka’ek Al-Quds

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You’ll need

  • Ingredients (see recipe)
  • large bowl
  • Jug
  • Weighing scales
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tablespoons
  • Measuring jug
  • Cooking brush
  • Baking tray
  • Grease proof paper
  • Tables
  • Access to oven
  • Access to sink
  • Washing up liquid
  • Heatproof gloves
  • Heatproof surface
  • Clean tea towels to cover bread
  • Timer
  • First ais kit, including for burns
  • A way to put a fire out, such as a fire extinguisher

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely. 
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.  

 

  • Remember to check for allergies, eating problems or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you've checked everyone's dietary requirements and allergies then adapted the recipe as appropriate. This may include ensuring no cross-contamination during food preparation, too.
  • Check if there’re any items of food (or packaging) that people can’t touch or be near to or if there’re items that people might not be comfortable using in the activity.
  • Some people may not like certain food textures or tastes and that’s OK. Try to find an alternative for them. No-one has to use all the ingredients or be made to try foods if they’re not happy, comfortable or don’t want to. 
  • Remember to have a hand washing station and take extra hygiene precautions when handling food. 
  • Take a look at our guidance on food preparation.
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. 
  • You may want to run a kitchen safety talk and show people how to use the equipment safely, such as for cooking or chopping ingredients. You could run our kitchen safety and hygiene activities, Kitchen risk bingo and Home kitchen hygiene prior to running this session.
  • If you’re using a gas stove, make sure it’s on a stable heat proof surface and in a clear and open area, with plenty of ventilation. Gas can increase risk of carbon monoxide exposure. We have more guidanceon different cooking methods.
  • Depending on your meeting place, you may wish for groups to make or prepare the ingredients in a wider, more spacious area, then invite each group into the kitchen to cook one at a time. Remember the groups not using the kitchen or cooking will still need to be supervised, always following the Yellow Card. 

Setting up this activity 

  • An adult volunteer should preheat the oven to 180° C for a fan oven or Gas Mark 6.  
  • Put out any tables you might use, along with ingredients, copies of the recipe and equipment.
  • Clean all the surfaces using anti-bacterial wipes or spray, then make sure it’s thoroughly dry. 
Sesame Bread Recipe

Ingredients Serves 5

  • 593ml warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 750g of plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 59ml olive oil
  • 69ml milk (for brushing)
  • 237mg roasted sesame seeds. 
Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes 

Cook time: 30 minutes 

 

Get cooking 

  1. Gather everyone together and tell them you’re going to be making Ka’ek Al Quds, which is a Palestinian bread from Jerusalem. Explain that sesame bread in Jerusalem is called Ka’ek Al-Quds. Ka'ek just means cake or biscuit and al Quds translates to the city of Jerusalem in Arabic.
  2. Ask everyone to wash their hands with warm water and soap, then get into groups of five. Each group should collect the ingredients and equipment, then find a space. You may want to provide printed copies of the recipe.
  3. Someone should weigh out the flour, then sieve it carefully into the large bowl.
  4. Next, someone should add the warm water and yeast into a jug, then mix them together.
  5. Someone should make a small well in the centre of the flour, then pour the water and yeast mixture into the well. Now add salt and oil in.
  6. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl to form a dough. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky. If it is, you can add a small amount of flour into the mixture. If the dough is too stiff, you can add a small amount of water into the mixture.
  7. Add a small amount of flour onto a clean surface, such as a table or counter, and place your dough on it. Someone should knead the dough for around a total five minutes. This can be done by stretching it away from you with the heel or knuckles of one hand and fold it back over the top towards you. Keep repeating the stretch and fold process again and again
  8. Place the dough back in the bowl when it’s been kneaded. 
  9. Next, brush the bowl and top of the dough with some oil, before covering it with a clean tea towel. Leave the dough to rise in a warm, safe place for about an hour. A warm kitchen worktop, sunny windowsill or somewhere close to a radiator often works well, but remember to keep any windows closed. 
  10. While the dough’s rising, everyone could tidy up or take part in another activity. 
  11. Once the dough has risen, ask everyone to wash their hands before baking again.
  12. Cut out a piece of greaseproof paper the size of the baking tray and place it on to the tray. Lightly dust the tray with flour.
  13. Someone should collect the dough, then divide the dough into five small balls, depending on the size of your groups. Place them on the baking tray and cover them with the tea towel and let them sit for another 15mins. 
  14. While the dough is resting, everyone can get involved in another activity. 
  15. Once the dough has risen, ask everyone to wash their hands before baking again.
  16. Everyone should take a dough ball and rolls it into a long sausage shape. Once it’s rolled out, connects both ends of the sausage together to create a long oval shape. This is the shape of a Ka’ek.
  17. Place the Ka’eks on top of the greaseproof paper on the baking tray. Make sure to space each one out, so the dough has enough space to rise in the oven.
  18. When ready, brush one side of the Ka’ek with a small amount of milk, then cover it with sesame seeds. Remember to turn it over and repeat this on the other side, so both sides are covered in sesame seeds.
  19. Cover the Ka’eks again, then let them sit for another 15mins.
  20. While the dough is rising for the final time, everyone could help with the washing up and tidying up.
  21. An adult should place the trays in the oven. Bake the bread for 15-20mins at 180° C or gas mark 6.
  22. Towards the end of the baking time, an adult should turn the heat in the oven up higher. Cook one side of the bread for two minutes at the higher temperature to get a golden colour.
  23. Once the bread’s cooked, an adult should carefully remove the trays from the oven, using heatproof protective equipment, such as heatproof gloves. The bread should be left on a heatproof surface to one side and out of reach of young people. Remember to turn the oven off.
  24. Once it’s cooled, you can serve your Ka’eks. 

Reflection

This activity gave everyone the opportunity to try something new and work as a team to cook some Ka’ek Al-Quds. Have you made anything similar before? How easy was it to make? What was it like following the recipe.

You had to work as a team to make the bread. How did you make sure everyone could be involved? How did you make sure everyone could share and use their skills? Did everyone get to have a turn at the different stages, such as mixing or kneading? What was it like rolling the dough out and making the shape? Did you have any problems? If so, how did you solve them? How did you make sure everyone stayed safe too?

Ka’ek Al-Quds is named after where it’s from. Can you think of any other foods that are named after where they’re from? Do you know of any foods that come from where you or someone you know lives? 

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Hot items and hot water

Kettles, cookers and microwave ovens produce a lot of heat by the very nature of them. Caution is needed when in contact with items that have been heated and young people should use them under adult supervision. Use on a suitable surface, protecting it if necessary. Never leave hot items unattended and make sure there’s a nearby first aid kit, with items to treat burns/scalds.

Fires and stoves

Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.

Cooking

Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.

Food

Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.

Flammable items

Always take care when using flammable items, especially if you’re near fire. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.

To make this activity easier, you can make and knead the dough in advance of the session, just getting everyone to roll and make the shapes to save time. 

  • If anyone needs help or struggles with fine motor skills, give them the opportunity to work in pairs or small groups. They could also work with a young leader or an adult volunteer. The person they’re working with can help with the parts they find fiddly to do or tricky. 
  • If anyone struggles with fine motor skills, a funnel could be used to help them pour the ingredients into a bowl or jug.
  • If you’re measuring out ingredients, anyone who struggles with maths can partner up with or join a group with someone who’s more confident at the measuring part of this activity. Alternatively, a young leader or adult could support them in the measuring part of this activity.
  • Remember, some baking and cooking activities can be done either sitting or standing – people can choose whichever way is best for them. People could work with a partner, with one taking on any standing tasks and the other doing tasks seated.
  • There’s lots of loud noises and different smells in a kitchen or while cooking, which may overwhelm some people. People may choose to wear ear defenders while in the kitchen, take a break from the activity or prefer to stay a distance away from the activity and that’s OK. You could use fragrance free soap or washing up liquid or have items pre-chopped to reduce noise. You might also want to keep any blending, electric whisks or noisier equipment to being used in one room and shut the door, so people have an option to step out if it’s too loud. Check before and during the activity that everyone is comfortable, and make sure everyone knows that they can leave the activity at any point. It might be useful to agree a signal people can use, such as raising their hand, to stop take a break for the activity or if they need to speak to an adult.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.