Skip to Content

Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian spiced honey bread)

Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian spiced honey bread)

Sharing is caring!

Dabo means ‘bread’ and the full original name of this wonderful loaf is Yemarina Yewotet Dabo: honey and milk bread. 

I was planning to make a chicken stew recipe called Daro Wat but until I found time to make it I saw it posted by my friends Cakelaw, Brii and by the host, so I google searched again rejecting many recipes. 

I was going to make a salad called Queen of Sheeba Salad as I liked the named of the recipe more than the recipe itself but I did not have pepperoni, which of course is optional but I didn’t have either the sweet white wine, so I might try this one another day.

I then found Yemarina Yewotet Dabo which seemed easy and the ingredients reminded me of Greek tsoureki. 

The best part was that I had all the ingredients at home but I decided to make a healthier version using whole wheat flour and less butter.

Ethiopian spiced honey bread image

However, this morning when I gathered all the ingredients and I read the recipe again, the instructions couldn’t be any more vague so I decided to make it the way I thought best. 

First of all I intended to use only whole wheat flour but I only had 2 cups left so for the remaining I used self raising flour.   I

had some leftover sheep’s butter from Christmas’ baking but I didn’t want to start using butter all over again so I only added 2 out of the 6 tablespoons mentioned and I knew this would not become fluffy as a cake but more like a bread. 

Then In the recipe it said that you could brush the top with some egg and milk to get a shiny brown crust and again I had the doubt whether the egg and milk mentioned in the recipe was to brush the bread or if I had to put it inside and use another one to brush it on top. 

As using a whole egg to brush a loaf of bread is too much I decided to add three quarters of the beaten egg in the mixture and keep the rest to brush it on top with a tablespoon of milk. 

When adding the egg to the dough, the mixture needed more flour so I added some more.  Finally, as this was a sweet bread, I sprinkled a pinch on sugar on top of the breads as I was sure it would be great.

You can see the end result in the picture how beautiful it turned out.  I am sure if I added all the butter it would taste fantastic but even with the alterations I made, the bread was perfect and much healthier. 

Tsoureki is the best and it cannot be compared in taste but although I was really skeptical about the combination of the cloves and the coriander, the taste wasn’t bad at all.

I am sending this recipe to Joan, of Foodalogue, who is hosting the event A Culinary Tour Around the World –  Ethiopia.

Yemarina Yewotet Dabo Ethiopian Spiced Honey Bread

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

Servings: 2 large loaves


  • 1 package (8 grams) dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup of thyme honey
  • 1 egg, divided
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons sheep’s butter melted in the lukewarm milk
  • ¼ cup of lukewarm water
  • 1 cup of lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups + ¾ cup of self raising flour
Dabo preparation image


In the mixer bowl add the 5 cups of flour, yeast sugar and salt. In a small pan, add milk and water and heat until lukewarm. Then add the butter and honey in the milk until the butter melts and the honey dissolves. Add to the mixture and with the bread hook attachment at low speed mix well. Beat the egg with a fork and add ¾ of the mixture as well as the spices. Continue mixing and if needed add the remaining flour until the dough is not sticky on your hands or on the bowl.

Cover the bowl and let it sit in a warm spot for 1 – 2 hours until it rises.

Punch down the dough and place it on your working surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Shape the dough as you like.

I decide to make it into a braid. For those who have never made a braid before here are the basic instructions:

1. Divide your dough into three even sections.

2. Cross the right hand section over the middle section. The original right hand section is now the middle section.

3. Cross the left hand section over the middle section. The original left hand section is now the middle section.

4. Continue the process, alternating right and left sections over the middle section.

5. Press the three ends together with your fingers so that they will not open when baking.

Place in a baking tin on parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 minutes, until golden brown.

Dabo with jam image

Plain or with the quince jam I made last week it is perfect as a snack or for breakfast..   Kopiaste!!

Dabo for breakfast image


More Tsourekia recipes

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!




Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 28th of February 2009

Love the deeply browned crust. I wonder how the sheep's butter tastes. Pretty safe to say I've never tried that before.


Friday 27th of February 2009

Absolutely stunning, Ivy! I've never braided bread before - I think I'm too chicken!


Thursday 26th of February 2009

It does look a bit like tsoureki. I like the idea of clove and coriander in it! Sounds yummy. Good work figuring out what to do with such a vague recipe!


Thursday 26th of February 2009

A lovely bread and the spice combination sounds intriguing. T


Thursday 26th of February 2009

That looks amazing Ivy! Yum ...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Policy · Copyright