Tunisian Bulo

Copyright ©ShulieMadnick
This is a quick fragrant bread. A cross between a crumbly soda bread, a soft biscotti, and is similar to Jewish mandelbread. Tunisian Jews use baking powder; Libyan Jews make the bread with yeast. The baking powder version has a longer shelf life.

This recipe for Tunisian Bulo was initially published on September 23, 2014, as a part of a collection of recipes in an article I wrote for break-the-fast on Yom Kippur for The Washington Post. I am republishing it here, slightly tweaked, just before Yom Kippur eve, falling on September 27, this year. Stay tuned for the article and other recipes for break-the-fast in the series re-published soon. All copyright material © ShulieMadnick. Please do not copy or republish without permission. A link to this post can be shared.

Allergen information: you can substitute the tree nuts with peanuts or sunflower and pumpkin seeds. 

Serve with quince jam and tea.

Tunisian Bulo

Makes 1 loaf about 12 “cookies”


4 cups plus flour (1.1 lbs)
Heaping 3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 oz blanched, skinless almonds, ground (may substitute with hazelnuts)
1/2 tea
spoon fennel seeds
2 large eggs, whisked
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup golden raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 4-by-11-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, sesame seeds, ground almonds, and fennel seed in a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, oil, orange zest and juice, vanilla extract, and raisins, using a spatula to gently fold them just until incorporated; do not over-mix. The mixture will look like a dry muffin batter or a super-sticky dough.

Moisten your hands with a little water, then use your hands to shape the dough into a long loaf that fits in the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn it front to back and bake for 20 minutes longer or until golden brown. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.

Cool completely before slicing and serving or storing. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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