Happy May Day!! It’s time to reveal my second Daring Bakers challenge! This month Jason from www.dailycandor.com gave us an option between two of his family’s favorite Armenian desserts. We could choose between nazook, a rolled, filled, flaky pastry or nutmeg cake, an Armenian coffee cake. I let my mom decide which dessert I should make since she was going to be enjoying it too, she chose the nazook, so nazook it was!
Since I’ve never made anything Armenian I decided to pretty much stick to the recipe and made half of the pastry with the traditional vanilla filling and slightly tweaked the other half by adding just a bit if cinnamon to the filling and sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top-see, nothing too crazy!
The nazook recipe is courtesy of Jason’s Aunt Aida, so it’s old school eastern European and is pretty darn tasty!
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1cup sour cream at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together flour and yeast.
2. Using your hands mix in the sour cream and the butter until a dough forms.
3. Attached the dough hook and knead until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. If mixing by hand turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.
4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 3-5 hours, or overnight if you like. I actually refrigerated mine for about 36 hours and it rolled out just fine!
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg yolk, beaten, for an egg wash
1. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar, butter, and vanilla until crumbly. The mixture should resemble coarse wet sand.
Assembling the Nazook!
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Divide the dough into four equal parts.
3. Dust your work surface with flour and roll ¼ of the dough into a large rectangle. Try to get the dough as thin as possible without it being see through.
4. Spread a quarter of the filling on the dough, leaving about 1 inch filling-free on the long side farthest away from you.
5. Slowly roll the dough into a log starting with the long, filling-covered edge close to you.
6. When it’s all rolled up, flatten down the log just a little to help everything stay together, but don’t squish it!
7. Brush your yolk over the top of the nazook using a pastry brush.
8. Cut the log like loaf into 1 inch pieces, I trimmed of the edges then cut it so I didn’t have any scraggly pieces.
9. Repeat for the other quarters of dough.
10. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden, about 25 minutes.
11. Allow to cool on a rack then enjoy!
These little guys kind of resemble cinnamon rolls in a way but the dough bakes to be flakier like a danish and less soft and buttery like cinnamon rolls. Jason said that the filling can vary greatly with different dried fruits and nuts there’s just one thing that his Aunt Aida does not recommend and that’s chocolate! Who would have thought chocolate of all things! For one of my batches I added about 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the flour in the filling and then sprinkled cinnamon sugar onto the egg washed tops. I preferred the cinnamon variation but my mom said the original vanilla was her favorite.
Overall the nazook came out very tasty and I would think would go great with a cup of coffee in the morning, if I drank coffee that is, but for me they’re just nice on their own! I can’t wait to see what the challenge is for May!
Sorry, I have to have this part so the Daring Bakers can find me on the web! The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.