Remember Friday’s recipe for Armenian Nutmeg Cake? Well, this recipe was the 2nd recipe option for the Daring Bakers’ challenge. We were given 2 recipes, but only required to make and post one of them.
Well, I was intrigued by both recipes, so I made them both!
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.
According to the information Jason gave us, vanilla scented nazook is the most common, so that is the filling I made. To help bring out the vanilla flavor, I used vanilla bean paste and vanilla sugar (but pure vanilla extract and regular sugar will work just as well!).
Makes: 40 pieces
Prep time: 4 hours (1 hour active, 3 hours resting) Bake time: 30 minutes
3 cups flour, sifted
1 packet active dry yeast
1 cup sour cream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Make the pastry dough:
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour and dry yeast. stir to combine. Add in the sour cream and butter and mix on low speed until it is well combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment and continue mixing until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl (you may need to add a little more flour). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours (I left mine overnight).
Make the filling:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, vanilla sugar, butter, and the vanilla bean paste. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, combine until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Set aside.
To make the nazook:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 4 even pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the pieces into a ball, then roll out into a large oval or rectangle. Roll the dough until it is thin, but not transparent (it doesn’t have to be an exact size). Spread 1/4 of the filling on top of the dough, making sure to leave 1/4 inch around the edges. Starting from one of the long sides, begin rolling the dough- making sure the filling stays evenly distributed. Once the dough has been rolled, place it seem side down and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash, then with a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) slice the roll into 10 even pieces. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, leaving about an inch between each pastry.
Repeat with the remaining 3 sections of dough. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Enjoy!
Note: This is a subtle vanilla-flavored pastry. Feel free to add spices or finely chopped nuts to the filling!
Made with love, not calories!