Sukkar bi Tahin – BBB July 2009

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On 15 July 2009, Natashya (Living in the Kitchen with Puppies) wrote the following:

BBB July 2009

Sukkar bi Tahin – Beirut Tahini Swirls for July’s BBB Challenge

I am very happy and proud to announce that my kitchen is host kitchen for the Bread Baking Babes this month!

For July’s Bread Baking Babes challenge, I kept a few things in mind; I was inspired by Breadchick Mary’s world travel through food in the injera challenge, and wanted to make something that would be new for most people.

I also kept in mind that people are starting to go on vacation and their kitchens can be pretty hot at this time of year. And third, I wanted a Canadian element… without resorting to bannock!

World travellers and authors Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid have several very inspiring cookbooks of recipes learned on their journeys. Naomi is Canadian born, and they keep a house here in Toronto.

The recipe I chose is for Beirut Tahini Swirls, Sukkar bi Tahin. It is a cross between a flatbread and a yeasted pastry, only mildly sweet. It is street food in Beirut, and very addictive!

Beirut has a lot of good food at every level, from fancy restaurants to local eateries, from home cooking to quality market shopping. And for a curbside snacker like me, it’s paradise. There are sesame-covered flatbreads, grilled meats, and sweet and not so sweet cookies; there’s always something nearby to eat.” “These tahini swirls, called sukkar bi tahin in Arabic, are flattened flaky rounds flavored with tahini and sugar, not too sweet, not too strong tasting. Serve them warm or at room temperature-they’re just right either way.
Alford and Duguid, Home Baking

BBB Sukkar bi Tahin

Sukkar bi Tahin – Beirut Tahini Swirls
Home Baking, The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World
Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Makes 6 golden brown, flaky textured coiled rounds, about 6 inches wide, filled with sesame paste and sugar.


1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
About 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup sugar

BBB Sukkar bi Tahin

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in one cup of the flour, then add the sugar and oil and stir in. Incorporate a second cup of flour, then turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, (or a baking sheet) on the middle oven rack and preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix together the tahini and sugar and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with 3 at a time, keeping the others covered. Flatten each out on a lightly floured surface, then roll each out to a rectangle about 5 inches by 10 inches. Spread the top surface with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the filling mixture, spreading it almost to the edges. Roll up the rectangle from a long side into a cylinder, which will stretch as you roll to about 20 inches long. Anchor one end and coil the bread around itself, then tuck the end in. Flatten with the palm of your hand, then set aside, covered, while you fill and shape the other 2 rectangles.

Return to the first coil and roll out gently with a rolling pin. Roll the other 2 out a little and then return to the first one and roll it out a little more thinly, and so on, until you have rolled each to a round about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. A little filling may leak out—don’t worry, just leave it.

Place the breads on the hot baking stone or tiles (or baking sheet) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and flaky. Transfer to a rack to cool.Shape and bake the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Tahini is a paste of ground sesame seeds. It can be found in health food stores, Middle Eastern markets and some grocery stores. It is a common ingredient in hummus, and is gaining in popularity in most parts of the world. It must be refrigerated after opening.

* I baked mine on parchment on the stone. Three fit on a large piece of parchment.

I have made these three times now. Once with all white flour, once with all whole wheat and once with a mix of both. I have to admit, I liked the white and the mix of both the best.

The swirls should end up like puffy pita. If they are very thin they will be crispy, if they are not rolled enough, they will puff up like cinnamon rolls. We are striving for a flatbread pastry that puffs a little. Try them a couple of times, experiment. They are fun to bake.

Sukkar bi Tahin (BBB)

My lovely friend and fellow Babe Lien offered up the European edition’s metric measurements.

1/2 tsp dry yeast (instant)
240 ml/g hand warm water
± 400 g white flour (for the dutch it says “Patentbloem”)
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
100 g tahini
100 g sugar

*you may need to make more tahini/sugar if you run out before your rolls are done.


Happy summer and happy baking!

BBB Sukkar bi Tahin

originally posted at

Please see how I fared when making Tahini Swirls: Swirling Around to Catch Up (BBB July 2019)

Please take a look at some of the other BBBabes’ Sukkar bi tahin: