Khaliat Nahal / Honeycomb Bread

Rate this recipe 
Average: 4.5 (13 votes)
2 small or 1 large

This is one of the most delicious Arabic breads ever! Khaliat al Nahal (known by many as Khaliat Nahal) simply means Bee's Hive. This is due to the bread's resemblance to a honeycomb and for the sweet, honey-flavoured topping it's glazed with.

It's a 'softer_than_cotton' type of bread, with some cheese filling in every bun, and a sweet glaze on top. I did a lot of experimenting with various different recipes to finally come up with my own master, no-fail recipe!

Ingredients for glaze/syrup
1 cup
3/4 cup
1 tbsp.
pinch of saffron
Ingredients for dough
3 1/2 cups
all-purpose flour
1 cup
2 tbsp.
milk powder
1/2 cup
(might use less)
3 tbsp.
4 tbsp.
4 tbsp.
melted butter
1 1/2 tsp.
instant yeast
1/2 tsp.
portions/triangles of cheese spread
(I used The Laughing Cow, but you can use any available to you, like Kiri or Al-Marai, etc.)
(for egg wash before baking)

For the glaze/syrup:

Boil the sugar, water and saffron together for a few minutes until it is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the honey. Mix and set aside to cool completely.

For the dough:

Sieve the flour, then add milk powder, sugar, yeast and salt. Then add the oil and butter and the egg, and mix together. Now add all the milk. Start kneading together and gradually add the water a little at a time. You might not need it all, so add it sparingly until your dough is nice and soft. Knead for a good 8-10 minutes. The more you knead it the softer the buns will be.

Touch a bit of oil with your fingertips and apply all over the ball of dough. Cover in a bowl and set aside for 40mins to an hour for it to double in size.

If you click HERE, you will able to see step by step instructions.

Punch it down, and break off tiny bits of dough. You should get about 40 tiny pieces out of this. Take each piece of dough, and stretch it out with your fingers, then add a small piece of cheese in its center. Bring the edges together and form a ball so that the cheese is completely enclosed within the dough. Repeat this with all the dough.

Grease your pan/pans with butter. Place the balls of dough in a 'honeycomb' pattern. Try to get them close to each other so that there are no or very little spaces in between.

Cover the pans and set aside for a second rise, about half an hour.

Now apply egg wash on the balls, preheat your oven to 180 C and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is nice and golden on top.

The egg wash I prefer to use for a lovely glossy finish is made this way. Take 1 egg, beat it with 1 tsp. of milk. Brush on the bread/rolls/buns and bake as directed! :)

Remove from the oven and pour your syrup all over the hot bread. Remember that the syrup needs to be cool and the bread needs to be steaming hot straight from the oven. Turn it out and place on a rack to cool and for the syrup to glaze slightly.

If you want to cut down on the sweetness, use less syrup or instead of pouring it onto the bread, just apply it using a brush on the tops of the bread. :)

If you do not like cheese, you can use chocolate instead in the center. Just cut any good quality chocolate bar into cubes and use them instead. Even nutella works but might be a little bit messy during closing it into the dough, unless you solidify it a bit first. ;)

Serve and enjoy!



Wow! Sweet

My husband doesnt like cheese, so can i use chocolate pieces instead.

Salam fozi sista I tried ur many dishes can u tell me that can I knead pizza dough or bread chiken dough. And freaz it simplle dough for 4 to 5 day becoz its takin time and if our dough is read we can easliy shape thEm. Ok thanks .allah hafiz

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can although it is better to make the pizza base and half bake it then wrap and freeze, so all you will have to do later is add the toppings and bake until done. :)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, yes you can.

Tried the bread and it turned out superb!!! Had it with raan in masala and it tasted great! Thank you!!

hi,can i double the measure for sugar instead to make the dough more sweeter and ommit the sugar syrup????

Can i make this recipe in microvave oven ?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I've personally never baked in my microwave so cannot be sure on what temperature or settings to use, but yes you can bake in the microwave.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, beat and divide in half.

Thank you, I made it and it turned out great...

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture


hi,i wanna try it today,but i havent got saffron,so what else can be used insted of it????????if not can it change the taste without it...........thanks dear

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, you can omit the saffron and flavour your syrup with either vanilla or any other flavouring of your choice, or even leave it as it is.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can.

hi. i tried honey comb buns , they were so good and delicious

This recipe looks very yummy - Can I leave out the sweet syrup part?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can leave it out.

Asalam aleykum. Thanks a lot. I tried it with raisins inside and it turned out great. Mashaallah jazakillah khairan.

hii ... hw to use dry yeast ???

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, please read this note: Yeast

do i have to put something in the center?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

No you don't have to.

Salam, fauzia by pan what do u mean? like in step by step sessions u have used normal bowl for placing the balls..and as per my understanding pan may be that is used in making pizza?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, pan could also mean a BAKING PAN, like for baking cakes.

Sister fauzia.. My post has been removed?

Im sorry i was checking da wrong window

Salaams- can i use this receipe for making buns for burgers

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can.

salaam fauzia can i use cheddar cheese cut into small pieces instead of the laughing cow cheese.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes any cheese that you like is fine.

I want to make only one honeycomb so how can I adjust the egg...

JAZAKALLAH Fauzia for the awesum recipe i actually luv dis bread and ve eaten couple of times but was in hunt for the perfect recipe
...thanks to u for sharing ....May ALlah increase ur reeeezk ......

can I put cream in center??
thanx a lot :)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Have not tried with cream but you can give it a try with some of the honeycomb.

amazing !

Nyc post jazakumullahu khairan...but pls wat is dis saffron meaning?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It is a type of spice, please google to see how it looks.

asw,i have become a big fan of ur recepies and have successfully tried many of urs.i recently tried this one and after i added milk to the flour i had great difficulty in kneading had become very very soft.and after one hour when i checked it for making the balls it had become all oily.yet,i managed to make the bread and it turned out to be very it normal for the dough to become very soft and leave oil??or have i made some mistake??i have taken in using the exact mentioned proportions.hoping for a reply from u soon.thanks for the recepie!

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, no have never heard of a dough releasing oil before, very strange. Am glad the results turned out fine but do give it a second try and see if the same thing happened. Add the water/milk gradually whilst kneading so the dough doesn't go too soft, you may not need to use all the liquid.

asw,i had added all the milk together and then tried kneading it.i guess that was my mistake.vl try it again now by adding it little at a time.nyways,thanks u..!!

hi,i tried this recipe for for the first time and was just great,buuuuuuut the second time it wasnt??actually i wanted the bread to taste more sweeter so that i can ommit the sugar syrup,so i doubled the sugar to 6tbsp and the rest of the ingredients same,buttttttttt the dough did not rise at all??was the sugar toooooooooooooo much,if so what is the plan B,or what can i do with the dough?????????

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, no I don't think the extra sugar would have harmed the recipe, did you use water/milk that is too hot? Coz it can be that the yeast got killed so it didn't work as it should. You can roll out the dough into chapatis and cook them, serve them as wraps. :)

can you make it without the milk powder??? and wot wud u use instead?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can leave out the milk powder. No need to substitute.

salams sister Fauziya,
Trying your recips one by one. Chicken chowmein, french toast& chicken65 were yummy. Love ur recipes. Thanks alot.

dear fouzia..writing u for the first time.all ur recipies sound really good n wana try them ,, but my problem is that i dont have an electrical oven..instead i have a gas oven,,i mean which has fire from both ends like one from top n another at the can it be used for baking breads ..ur response will be highly appreciated..thankzz

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes it can be used, turn on the bottom heat first and then halfway turn on the top heat so the cooking/baking is evenly done.