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nazook (Assyrian/Armenian pastries)

5 from 1 reviews

Ingredients

for the filling:

  • 100g flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 150g sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • 85g cold unsalted butter (6 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-tablespoons
  • 2g vanilla extract (½ teaspoon)
  • 1 pinch salt

for the dough:

  • 400g flour (about 3 cups)
  • 230g cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into ½-tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 6g salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 225g full-fat sour cream (1 cup)
  • 5g instant yeast (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 30g sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • 2g vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 beaten room temperature egg, for the egg wash*
  • Special equipment: a crinkle cutter**

Instructions

  1. For the filling: Mix the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt with a pastry blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment, until it’s completely combined and there are no chunks of butter. Remove the filling to a container (don’t compress it), seal it shut, and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Don’t bother washing the food processor, because you’ll use it in the next step.
  3. For the dough: Add the flour, butter, and salt to the food processor. Pulse several times, until there are no big pieces.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, yeast, sugar, and vanilla, and then add it to the food processor with the butter/flour mixture. Pulse several more times, until it comes together into a soft dough (don’t overmix, and stop as soon as it comes together).
  5. Shape the dough into 3 equal discs (about 300g each), and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them sit at cool room temperature for 30 minutes, and then rest them in the refrigerator overnight, up to 36 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C when you’re ready to bake.
  7. Lightly flour the counter, and roll one of the chilled dough discs out into a 10 x 14” rectangle (⅛-inch thick). A few tips on making a rectangle: first, gently tap the sides on the counter to square them off. As you roll it out, pat the sides in every once in a while to help nudge it into a rectangle instead of a circle, and then continue rolling.
  8. Crumble and spread the filling out to the edges of the rectangle, leaving about ¼-inch border on the 2 long sides. Use the heel of your hand to gently compress the filling into an even layer.
  9. Tightly roll up from one long side to the other. Once it’s almost totally rolled up, dab a tiny bit of water along the long side to help it seal shut.
  10. Place the log so the seam is tucked under the bottom, and very slightly flatten the log with your rolling pin so that it’s about 1 1/4” tall (and 1 3/4” wide). Use a crinkle cutter to slice the log into approximately 1”-wide pieces.
  11. Repeat with the other dough balls.
  12. Place the pieces on parchment-lined sheet pans. Let them sit for 10 minutes to bring them completely to room temperature.***
  13. Brush their tops with the room temperature beaten egg. Bake for 35 minutes until deeply golden brown and cooked through.

Notes

* To quickly bring the egg to room temperature, place it in a glass, cover with hot tap water, and let it sit for a few minutes.

** No worries if you don’t have a crinkle cutter. You can totally use a knife instead—they’ll just have a different look. This is the one that I use (not sponsored, just a really decent and inexpensive tool that I love).

*** If you bake them cold, they will burst open and crack dramatically as they bake (a few little cracks are totally fine, but cold nazooki split open very dramatically). Another way to prevent cracks is to cut them a little smaller. Sometimes the middle of the log bulges a little after rolling it up, but you can gently roll it back and forth like a rolling pin to make the center a bit thinner. Squish in the sides slightly to make sure they don’t get too spindly.

To store: Nazooki (like many floury, buttery baked goods) stale at room temperature after the first day or two, and stale even more quickly in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 3 months tightly wrapped in the freezer. Do not store these in the refrigerator! If I’m not eating them 12-16 hours after baking, I like to store them in the freezer immediately after baking to make sure they stay super fresh, and let them thaw at room temperature for a couple hours before enjoying later on. You can also microwave them for just a few seconds to warm them through if they’re tasting a little on the stale side.