Perfectly soft and delicious, these cuties are awesome with tea, either for breakfast or as an evening snack. Since mandazi/mahamri are normally fried, these are an ideal and healthier alternative because they are baked.
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. instant yeast
¼ tsp. powdered cardamom
2 tbsp. milk powder
½ tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. oil or melted butter
7 tbsp. sugar
some warm water for kneading
TIP: if you have fresh coconut and want the yummy coconut flavor without all the extra calories from the coconut milk, break open the coconut and reserve the WATER from the inside of the coconut. Use that to knead your dough instead of regular water, this way your mandazi will have the perfect coconut flavor. If you want to use coconut milk, then omit the powdered milk and oil/butter from the recipe and use just enough coconut milk to knead the dough into a soft ball.
Sieve the flour, add all the ingredients, then slowly start adding the warm water whilst kneading. Knead the dough well until it is nice and soft...even slightly sticky. If you slit the dough with a sharp knife, you should be able to see tiny bubbles formed inside the dough, that's how you know you have kneaded it enough.
Cover and set aside for about an hour or until it is doubled in size. Divide the dough into 3-4 balls. (3 if you want bigger mandazi, 4 if you want tinier ones). Whilst the rest of the balls are covered, take the first ball and roll it out into a circle of about half an inch (or slightly more) thickness. Cut the rolled out dough into 4 pieces, and place them on a greased baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Once all are done, cover the tray lightly with a soft towel that won't put weight on the mandazi as they need to rise again. Set them aside for another 45 minutes or so until they are again doubled in size.
Pre-heat your oven at 200 C. Place the tray on the lowest rack for about 10 minutes first, then put the tray on the highest rack for another 5-8 minutes or until the mandazi are a lovely brown color.
Remove and keep covered with a cloth to retain softness. You can dab them with some butter if you like. Serve hot and fresh.