Rooti Farmaajo (Honeycomb Cheese Bread)

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Serves: 10-12

Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

About Rooti Farmaajo

A cherished traditional Somali cheese bread, recognized for its soft, fluffy texture and subtle sweetness. The recipe calls for basic ingredients such as flour, sugar, yeast, milk and cream cheese, which come together to create a light and airy bread that is both satisfying and versatile. Often enjoyed with honey or butter, Rooti Farmaajo is a staple in Somali households, serving as a comforting and familiar accompaniment to various meals. The preparation process involves kneading the dough and allowing it to rise, ensuring the bread achieves its signature lightness. This beloved bread not only holds cultural significance but also offers a delightful taste experience that is easy to recreate in any kitchen.


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups warm milk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cream cheese (about 1 teaspoon per roll)

Sweetened condensed milk (for drizzling)

Shredded coconut (for topping)


01To prep the dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
02Add about 1 1/2 cups of warm milk initially. Mix until the dough starts to form. If the dough appears too dry, gradually add more milk until it becomes soft and slightly sticky. You may not need the full 2 cups, or you might find you need a little more, depending on the dough’s texture.
03Add the vegetable oil and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
04Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
05Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release air. Divide the dough into small balls, about the size of a golf ball.
06Preheat your oven to 375 F.
07Stretch or press the dough into a flat circle, about 5 inches in diameter.
08Place a teaspoon of cream cheese in the center of each circle, then fold the edges over the cream cheese, pinching to seal and forming a stuffed ball.
09Oil a round baking dish and arrange the stuffed dough balls in the dish, with the seam side down, creating a layered, flower-like pattern. Lightly cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.
10Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up.
11Immediately after taking the bread out of the oven, drizzle generously with sweetened condensed milk and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Let the bread cool slightly in the dish before serving. This dessert-style bread is best enjoyed warm.

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Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Wait until the pan is hot and the butter has fully melted.