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Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian spiced honey 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.

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.

Joan has connected this event with BloggerAid and our intention is to bring awareness about the hunger which exists in many parts of the world.  Ethiopia is one of these countries and we as foodies are blessed with having food everyday in our plates.   Our aim is to publish our cookbook and whatever money we  gather from its sale will go to the World Food Programme and help feed as many children as we can.

We are very excited to see that each day more and more foodies around the world come and join us.  We have now exceeded 140 members from over 30 countries.  The deadline for submitting recipes is the 31st of March and if you want to see one of your recipes published you must not wait until the deadline because we have nearly reached our goal.

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


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.

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

If you liked this recipe, you may also like:

Greek Tsoureki

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20 Responses

  1. Beautiful and surely mighty delicious! I love Ethiopian food…



  2. Ivy this looks great and for a lovely cause too!

  3. This looks delicious Ivy and I’d love a piece with a cup of tea about now. Though I haven’t tasted it, I think I favor the idea of the ‘unusual’ spices. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to prepare this. Wait till you see how many showed up for Ethiopia…I was surprised! (happily)

  4. I love braided breads and yours looks wonderful 🙂

  5. Bravo Ivy! Your foray into Ethiopian cooking turned out quite well. 🙂 As for BloggerAid, I am happy to be a part of it myself and will soon be sending my recipe along as well.

  6. This looks great. I love the cloves and coriander in it, and it’s healthy too!

  7. Looks beautiful, and I like your healthier version.

  8. I too love the spices in this Ivy. Good on you for making a healthier version.

  9. That sounds quite good Ivy! I love the different spices … it is always nice to try different flavors and this sounds like a lovely bread.

  10. Hi this is my first time on your site. I found you through Foodalogue and I’m so glad I visited! This bread looks sooooooo yummy!

  11. Ethiopian is one of my very favorite cuisines and I have been meaning to make some for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it! This bread sounds delicious and your braiding makes it look so appetizing!

  12. Loved your collage of the different steps in preparing this bread, which sounds just delicious!

  13. It was wonderful to “meet” you in Ethiopia Ivy!!I wonder if anyone made the injera “plates”? I love the bread you made..so pretty too:D

  14. oh Ivy… I am so guilty. I haven’t been able to get around and meet everybody through events like this. It seems that times just fly without I’ve ever noticed. With the home-schooling had begun and myself have gone back to the community, it seems so hard to find time to make things, especially I don’t do baking a lot anymore other than doing KBB’s tasks. I can’t eat baked goods, so my kitchen is really quiet these days… the bread looks inviting, surely. sigh…

  15. What a neat looking bread Ivy. Love all the thought that went into what to make; we are quite alike! Also love the fact that you played around with ingredients & measures! YAY!!

  16. That looks amazing Ivy! Yum …

  17. A lovely bread and the spice combination sounds intriguing. That is such good news about the BloggerAid cookbook. I am so happy that this project is coming along so well, with your hard work at the helm!

  18. 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!

  19. Absolutely stunning, Ivy! I’ve never braided bread before – I think I’m too chicken!

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