Honeycomb Cheese Bread (Rooti Farmaajo)3 min read

Popular throughout Somalia, especially during the Muslim holy days of Ramadan, this deliciously sweet and savory bread is the ideal way to break a fast, or to simply enjoy as an afternoon pick-me-up. This version gets a probiotic kick from labneh, a soft Middle Eastern cheese made from strained yogurt, which fills each pillowy roll. Traditionally topped with sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut, here we’re using honey and sesame seeds for a sweet glaze and pop of texture. Sesame seeds also contain fiber, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E, helping to lower blood pressure and support bone density. 

Serves: 4-6 as a snack or side

Total Time: 2 hours (20 minutes hands-on time)


  • 2/3 cup warm whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, divided
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup thick style labneh
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Flaky sea salt, to garnish


  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Allow to sit for ten minutes to activate the yeast (it should become frothy and bubbly). 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, egg and butter, then pour in the milk yeast mixture. Knead the dough until it comes together smoothly, adding 1-2 tablespoons of additional flour as needed if the dough seems too sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour (the dough should roughly double in size).
  3. Cut the dough in half, and roll out each half into a long rope about an inch thick. Cut each rope into 10-12 pieces. 
  4. Grease a 9 inch round pan with butter, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  5. Using your fingers, press each piece into a rough circle shape about 2 inches in diameter. Add about ¼ teaspoon of the labneh inside the circle, and press the edges closed like you were forming a dumpling. Roll the piece so it becomes round, and place in the prepared baking dish. Continue with the rest of the dough, placing them in concentric circles until you fill your pan.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, drizzle with honey, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and flaky salt, and return to the oven for another 4-6 minutes until the dough is puffed and lightly golden brown. 
  7. Remove from the oven and enjoy immediately or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. 


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