Baking | Armenian Nazook 2 ways … sweet and savoury with the Daring Bakers

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.”
Mark Kurlansky

Armenian Nazook Sweet & SavouryThese are literally hot off the press oven! Delightful little bites, crisp, flavourful, completely unexpected and a window to yet another culture. Trust Daring Bakers to throw up another fabulous challenge, this time an Armenian pastry full of infinite promise. Nazook, something I had never heard of. I went sweet and savoury, two ways – Nutella, Almond, Vanilla Bean Nazook and Cheddar Chimichurri Nazook, both delicious!

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.

I read up the challenge pretty early in the month but this has been a tiresome month with plenty of kid issues. Have kids, will fret. Just as the ‘not so terrible anymore teen‘ has begun settle down, the preteen is offering us ‘challenges‘ galore. Not a moment of rest for the wicked I chide myself, and life goes on!Armenian Nazook SavouryLast night as I read the DB forum about all the wonderful Nazook experiences, I reached the kitchen in a trance and made the dough. ‘Rest the dough for 3-5 hours‘ said Aunt Aida. Seemed like the challenge was tailor made for me, giving me time to relax too! I love make ahead bits of recipes as they make the work look so easy. Armenian Nazook SavouryThe recipe called for sour cream and it was time for substitution as it isn’t locally available here!  With help from Google, I settled for hung yogurt and butter. I have yet to experience such a smooth fine pastry dough, pliable, flexible and so unassuming. It made me sit up and take notice. The texture seemed to hold a lot of promise especially in hot weather like ours in North India.Armenian Nazook Sweet & SavouryYet another Daring surprise from another beautiful culture, this time Armenian cuisine. Last month we walked the wild side with an exciting Dutch Crunch Bread or tijgerbol from the Netherlands. Some time before that we made the stunning Povitica, a Croatian sweet bread that was unforgettable! I absolutely love the way Daring Bakers is embracing food cultures in the most amazing way!Dutch Crunch Bread & PoviticaOur talented host this month, Jason, is half Croatian and grew up eating Povitica! Jason decided to share his Armenian heritage with us and introduced us to his Aunt Aida’s nazook recipe of which he wrote … “I’ve tried a LOT of nazook, and have to say hers is the best I’ve tried.Armenian Nazook SavouryI halved the recipe even though all the reviews were great but it’s beginning to warm up a lot here, and I didn’t know how the butter would behave! The result was so good.  The crust is almost like a flaky shortcrust or shortbread, maybe somewhere in between, but quite amazing!Armenian Nazook Savoury It’s always a sweet vs savoury tug of war for me in the kitchen. Even though I had chocolate something in mind for half, and pistachio for the other half, I reached for cheddar and went savoury on the first lot. So good! The flour in the filling intrigued me, so unusual, but like it needed to be there. The end result was crisp, buttery, flaky and full of good pizza flavour!Armenian Nazook SweetFor the second bit of the dough, Nutella called my name, and with a last minute almond distraction I ended up with Nutella, Almond, Vanilla Bean Nazook. I have stayed eggless with the challenge as I get loads of requests from my local readers to offer more eggless/vegetarian recipes. If you like, give the pastry an egg wash to get the characteristic shiny finish that nazook has.Armenian Nazook Sweet & Savoury

Thank you Jason of Daily Candor {and your sweet Aunt} for a wonderful window to your rich heritage. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to see the beautiful nazook and nutmeg cake our other daring bakers have done!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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Comments

  1. Mmmmhhh, that is one fabulous speciality! Extremely addictive, I’m sure.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. So many new cuisines to discover… One day I would love to be a part of this daring baker series… I especially love the savoury version of nazook, to me it looked somewhat like pizza bites.
    Rekha´s last blog post ..Roasted Cheery Tomato and Pasta Summer SaladMy Profile

  3. THat looks so so good!!

  4. Oh, wow! What a beautiful job, as always! Your nazook is STUNNING! I love the fantastic filling choices you did, too! Great job! :D
    Jenni´s last blog post ..The Daring Bakers Make Armenian Nutmeg Cake!My Profile

  5. Incredible bakes, extremely inviting and irresistible..
    Priya´s last blog post ..Carrot & Shallots ChutneyMy Profile

  6. The Nazooks look awesome! Love the fillings.

    Best,
    Sihi

  7. Savory flavors sound really great for a Nazook right about now. I didn’t try any savory flavors but I would like to now. Beautiful photos. Nice job on the challenge!
    Kim´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers – Nazook and Nutmeg CakeMy Profile

  8. WOW!!!!! Great Job !! Love it! I used ground walnuts as a substitute for flour in the filing, but I love your idea with nutella. :) I thought a savory version might be delicious. Now I must try. This was my debut in the Daring Bakers Challenge :) I can’t wait for my next DB challenge!.
    Zoka´s last blog post ..Daring bakers april 2012- Armenian nazookMy Profile

  9. Very inviting – Mouth-watering!
    Meena Thennaapan´s last blog post ..Sanjeevini – Sathu Maavu Kanji – Sweet PorridgeMy Profile

  10. Se ven deliciosos, tanto dulces como salados. Estare encantada de probarlos. Un saludo

  11. ohhh how beautiful! and I love the bowls and plates you use!
    Bryt´s last blog post ..The Daring Bakers April 2012 Challenge: Armenian Nutmeg CakeMy Profile

  12. Beautiful shots! Great idea to also make a savoury version of the Nazook, have to try that too. This was such a great challenge and I loved baking the cake and the Nazooks.

  13. Cathy says:

    This Armenian Nazook is looking so delicious & lucrative. Definitely the best good looking pastry of the year. Would like to have a bite!

    Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe
    -Cathy

  14. It’s always an adventure with kids, isn’t it??? Mine are still little, so it’s good to know that I’m going to continue to be on my toes for many years to come!!
    Your nazook looks amazing I love that you did both sweet and savory, and your flavor combinations are totally inspired. Wonderful, wonderful job!!
    Shelley C´s last blog post ..April Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Armenian DessertsMy Profile

  15. Your nazook flavors sound so intriguing – I want to try them! And they’re so beautiful! Wasn’t it wonderful that the dough was so fabulous and worked equally well for sweet and savory?
    Dawn´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers Go ArmenianMy Profile

  16. This is it! I can’t wait any more ! going to the kitchen to make this right now!
    I made the nutmeg cake and regret not making the nazook but after seeing your creations I am going to the kitchen to make this right now

    • Teehee Sawsan…after I read your nutmeg cake post, I scuttled off to the kitchen to make mine. I did hit disaster zone as I experimented with smaller tins and had overflowing lava all over my oven {had the base protected though!} What I salvaged was FAB but not too good looking!

  17. Ashleen Moreen says:

    It is really good to feel having great time with kids especially in the Kitchen, they are very curious on how to cook and bake. By the way, love the nazook flavors and I think it tastes good.
    Ashleen Moreen´s last blog post ..Timber Door Styles & DesignsMy Profile

  18. How simply divine this looks! Kudos to you Deeba for being with the DBs for so long. I kind of miss it! It’s great to follow your creativity in these challenges. Well done!
    Meeta´s last blog post ..Design & Composition: Photography, Styling and Design Workshop at Ettersburg Castle, GermanyMy Profile

  19. I really wish I had time to make the nazook but I think I’ll make it independently of the challenge and the reviews sound great! :)

  20. How interesting, I’ve never heard of nazook but the sweet one reminds me of rugelach.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen´s last blog post ..Sautéed Radishes with Fava Beans | A Radish RevelationMy Profile

  21. Naigel says:

    It was truly a mouth watery stuff, this is very interesting and I am able to discover this recipe… I am pretty sure that my children do love it also…

  22. Lilibeth says:

    Wow! They are mouth watering bread… Thanks for this recipe, I would surely try to bake this. I’m sure my family will love this recipe!

  23. Clever of you to make both sweet and savory, Deeba. I think I’d have a difficult time deciding between them.

  24. Marilyn says:

    I want to try this bread..Sound like good to eat..Thanks for sharing with us..
    Marilyn´s last blog post ..Good and workMy Profile

  25. How great that you made a savory version. I’ll have to try that. Love all your different flavors.

  26. I’ve never heard of nazook, but it sure looks super interesting. Love the worldly ‘exploration’ the Daring Bakers have been doing off late
    Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes}´s last blog post ..Foodbuzz 24×24 : Home Away From Home : Food is the ConnectionMy Profile

  27. I want to try this bread..Sound like good to eat..Thanks for sharing with us..

  28. Gisselle says:

    I really love pastries so much.. And these ones are definitely perfect for every afternoon with a coffee on the table..

  29. I made the savory version for a group of friends and it was a big HIT. Thanks!

  30. Marvelous…..
    Gurgaonflowerplaza.com

  31. I want to make that bread right now. How great you made all these delicious versions Deeba. Thanks for sharing, and big hugs,
    Cheers
    Mamatkamal
    mamatkamal´s last blog post ..حلوة الّلوز أُ اللّيمون/Moroccan Orange Cake, Butterless Cake / Gâteau Marocain à l’Orange, Sans Beurre!My Profile

  32. Charis says:

    Thanks for this recipe, I would surely try to bake this.Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!

  33. wow….
    Deccansojourn.com

  34. You are killing me with your food pictures….
    Just loveeelllllyyyy captures…..!
    Jingalala´s last blog post ..Fritters out of Banana blossom – Vaazhaipoo vadaiMy Profile

  35. I’m an Armenian girl and never heard of nazook either, but these are gorgeous! I’m bookmarking this page plan to make them soon. I cant’ wait to try them. Your photos are really beautiful. So glad to have found your site!
    Caroline@Taste Love & Nourish´s last blog post ..Armenian Easter Bread Rounds (Choereg)My Profile

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