Friday, April 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' April Challenge - Nazook

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. We had the choice of making one or both of these yummy desserts, and I made the nazook. (Link to recipes HERE.)

 The nazook dough was a dream to work with - silky, pliable, and not too sticky. The recipe for the filling was very similar to the recipe for the crumbly top I put on cherry or apple pies, the main difference being the addition of a generous splash of vanilla extract.

At first I had a little trouble rolling up the dough and keeping the crumbly filling from falling off, but then I read a terrific hint, on-line. After sprinkling the crumbles over the dough, I spread a sheet of plastic wrap over it all and, using the rolling pin, lightly pressed the filling into the dough. That made it a breeze to roll up (cinnamon roll fashion) without the crumbly filling slipping out. Here'a a picture of the little beauties, all rolled up and ready to pop into the oven.

I used an egg yolk wash on top of the nazooks, which produced a glossy, golden shine. Half of my recipe had the traditional vanilla flavored filling, just like in the recipe. To the other half I added a sprinkling of cinnamon. Both were delicious, especially with a cup of tea (for me) or coffee (for Dan). I took a few over to our next-door neighbors (Alan and Kelly), and the next day Alan told me that, after tasting one of them, he was sorely tempted to hide the rest from his wife so he could have them all!

Here's a close-up, showing the sweet filling between the layers of delicately crispy dough.

I only had time to make the nazooks, but after having such good success with this recipe, I will want to try the nutmeg cake, as well. Who knew that the Armenians had such delectable pastries? That's what I most love about the Daring Bakers - learning about new foods and learning new techniques from bakers around the world.


Within the Kitchen said...

Great job on this month's challenge. Your Nazook look sgreat!

Korena said...

Wasn't the nazook dough just beautiful? I loved working with it. Wonderful job on this challenge, your nazooks look delicious!

Irina said...

Linda, your nazooks look perfect, I do understand your friend:)) And you should try the nutmeg cake as well, it was great.