The molded sweet is a long-standing tradition at the Lebanese table, a true and beloved trademark. Sometimes that sweet is a cookie (ma’moul), sometimes a sweet bread (kaik, KAH-ick).
They are beautiful, these little works of art, their imprints like an engraved invitation to a very special party you won’t want to miss.
Mine are not kaik molds that have been handed down for generations in the family. In fact, my use of molds for the sweet breads would be considered sort of fancy, sort of over-the-top, sort of…unnecessary…by our women. The same way they watch me cut out my circles for fatayar and wonder what’s gotten into me to try to make everything so perfectly perfect (that method is not standard practice, not Sitti practice, in my clan but it’s a practice that works well, so I embrace it).
Even though our sweet breads turn out beautifully without the molded imprint (a fork and your fingers make fine designs), I was curious to see how they worked. The molds can be ordered here—Dayna’s Market of Dearborn was introduced to me by a reader (thank you Sam!) and is a tremendous resource for Lebanese pantry items—and they are very inexpensive, so I figured that even if they didn’t deliver on their promise to beautify our bread, there wouldn’t be too much lost in the trying. Get the large-sized kaik mold, which is about 6 inches across and works for small or large breads.
It’s no surprise to me that I love the kaik molds, love their neat, clean design and the way they worked so beautifully with the dough. These are molds I’ll keep a while, molds worth using, saving, and handing down.