Friday, March 16, 2018

Bread Baking Babes are all sweet: Armenian Nazook

A pastry made with sour cream and a little butter. Rolled around a filling of walnuts and a paste of flour, sugar and oh yes another bit of butter. Actually, there's more than a little butter in this pastry, but then again a pastry is to enjoy and share right?

My walnut cracking helpers were all occupied elsewhere and I stopped at 50 grams (my hands can't handle a lot of cracking) and I added fresh pear cubes to the amount needed.

Flavoured with lemon zest and vanilla because I was out of cardamom. I could have upped the flavors because I really liked the bits filled with walnut and the pear was just too insignificant in flavor to help in that area, it did provide a nice texture though.

This month it was Kelly's turn at A Messy Kitchen to give us our recipe and she chose an Armenian (it is also known in Assyria, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran) and goes not only by Nazook, but you will find the same pastry mentioned as Nazukeh, Gata. We made these shaped in a log and then cut into bite size pieces but I've seen them made in the shape of a large round as well

I didn't know that these could be so more-ish! Fresh out of the oven they were absolutely delicious, so make sure to reheat in the oven when presenting these.

from Mom's Authentic Assyrian Recipes 
makes 48 pastries

2¼ tsp (7g) active dry yeast (I used 2 tsp instant yeast)
1 cup (227g) sour cream
3¼ cups (390g) sifted flour
½ tsp (6 g) salt
1 cup (226g) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tbsp (12g) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5g) lemon juice

1 cup (226g) butter, melted (+ 3tbsp melted, optional)
2 cups (240g) sifted flour
1 cup (198g) sugar
1 cup (113g) walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp (5g) vanilla
1 tsp (2g) cardamom

2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp (5g) yogurt (I used water)


Dough: If using active dry yeast, add to the sour cream and stir in.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  If using instant yeast, add to flour.  Combine flour, salt and butter and blend with your fingers until crumbly. Add egg, oil, lemon juice, and sour cream and mix until incorporated.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, or until no longer sticky.  Add more flour if necessary.  (I did end up adding another 60g flour).  Form into a ball, and to follow tradition, mark with a +, symbolizing a cross. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5 hours, or overnight.

Filling: Mix flour, sugar, walnuts, and cardamom. Add vanilla to melted butter and pour slowly into flour mixture while stirring.  Stir until the mixture is smooth.  (Mine ended up a beautiful streusel consistency, at first a paste and then nice and crumbly as it cooled.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Assembly: Melt the 3 extra tablespoons of butter and set aside.  Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 8 equal portions. (I did this and the filling by weight.)  Roll each dough ball into a 10 x 6” rectangle.  Brush with melted butter.  (I found that the filling adhered to the dough just fine without the added butter and since there is a full pound in the recipe, decided it was fine to leave this step out.)  Spread 1/8th of the filling over each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch border.  Cover with a piece of parchment paper.  Press down lightly with your hands, so that the filling adheres to the dough.  Fold the edges in ½-inch over the filling.  (Oops, forgot to do all the edges, so I trimmed the ends.)  Roll into a cylinder.  Gently flatten with the palms of your hands.  (Do this because they puff quite a lot in the oven.)
Cut each roll into 6 pieces and arrange on 2 parchment lined cookie sheets.  Brush liberally with the egg glaze.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.  Excellent with coffee or hot tea.  Not too sweet, just sweet enough!

We would love for you to bake along with us!  Just bake your version of this bread by March 30th and send Kelly a note with your results and a picture or link to your post at eleyana(AT)aol(DOT)com with Buddy Bread in the subject line and you will be included in our buddy round up at the beginning of next month. You'll also get your Buddy badge graphic to keep and/or add to your post.  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture is fine!


  1. These really do taste moreish, don't they? What a terrific idea to add pears to the filling!

  2. Yum! This one looks well worth the effort!

  3. These look gorgeous. I love your additions! Fortunately I had shelled walnuts in the freezer!

  4. Oh my, having to crack all the walnuts by hand! I am very spoiled having so many shelled options readily available. I love the idea of lemon zest! I adore lemon and it would add a bit of zing to the flavor profile of the filling.

  5. Pears, yes I thought of trying some fruit, wanted to, now I have to. Yes the walnuts are terrific in these.
    Love that "actually there's more than a little bit of butter"! and then some ... but tasting makes it all A-OK.
    Without cracking helpers? were you also without those eating helpers? I need eating helpers, maybe I should advertise but Gorn doesn't want me to give any away.
    Yours look beautiful!

  6. Do you think these would make cinnamon rolls, be less breadie than traditional cinnamon rolls and so more healthy? ;-) haha just a little more butter right. But I was thinking to put dried blueberries in with brown sugar, cinnamon and ... more butter ... more healthy.

  7. Walnuts and pears - what a great combination! And butter is good, so more butter must be better, right?

  8. Walnuts and pears - what a great combination! And butter is good, so more butter must be better, right?

  9. Whatcha baking towards the end of May, early June? We'll be staying in Delft for a few weeks... ;)

    1. Don't know yet! But as soon as I know more I'll let you in on the secret (don't tell anyone) ;-)

  10. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe! I will try to cook this at home.

    Freda | puzzle games


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