Nazook Recipe: Step-by-Step Instructions and Video

Updated on July 10, 2015
3.9 stars from 95 ratings of Armenian Nazook

Nazouk is a crisp, but soft, and buttery, sweet, but not too sweet, pastry that's a traditional favorite among Armenians (maybe not so much among dieters...see the nutritional information at the end). It goes well with coffee or tea, or even hot chocolate. And, if you want to have a go at making it, you'll get nods of approval from little old Armenian ladies everywhere.

Since there are virtually no good recipes for nazook online, I turned to the master pastry baker in my family, my Aunt Aida, who's been baking nazook for decades. Her nazook is absolutely perfect, much better than the best stuff you can buy in Glendale grocery stores. She graciously offered to show me how to make nazook, and sent me home with 40 pieces of this pastry (yes, that sound you hear is the death knell of my weight loss efforts...).

A little on this pastry's background: Aida tells me that other Armenians eat nazook, too, but they might call it gata (gata is what Persian-Armenians reserve for a specific type of round cake). Armenians prepare it usually around the time of Easter, and it is eaten for 40 days through Ascension. I'm not sure it has any religious significance except for that this time usually involves friends visiting each other, and nazook is a nice pastry to serve along with coffee or tea.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 hours
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 5 hours 30 min
Yields: 40 pieces of nazook

What You'll Need

Equipment:

  • 2 bowls
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • pastry brush
  • rolling pin, or empty wine bottle
  • crinkle cutter, or a sharp knife

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups (563 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 8 oz (227 g) sour cream
  • 3 1/2 sticks (397 g) softened butter (room temperature)
  • 1 packet (2 1/2 tsp, or 7 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup (338 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1-2 egg yolks (for the wash; alternatively, some yogurt, egg whites, or a whole egg)

Rolling out the dough.
Rolling out the dough.
Rolling the pastry, with the filling spread across.
Rolling the pastry, with the filling spread across.
Applying the egg yolk wash to the finished, patted-down loaf.
Applying the egg yolk wash to the finished, patted-down loaf.
Cut pieces ready for the oven.
Cut pieces ready for the oven.
Baking in the oven.
Baking in the oven.
Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!

Directions

Make the Pastry Dough

  1. Sift 3 cups (375 g) of the flour into a large bowl.
  2. Add the dry yeast, and mix it in.
  3. Add the sour cream, and 2 sticks (227 g) of the softened butter.
  4. Use your hands, or a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, to work it into a dough.
  5. If using a standing mixer, switch to a dough hook. If making manually, continue to knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl or your hands. If it remains very sticky, add some flour, a little at a time.
  6. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 3-5 hours.

Make the filling

  1. Mix together the remaining (1 1/2 cups, 188 g) flour, the sugar, and the remaining (1 1/2 stick, 170 g) of softened butter.
  2. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the filling until it looks like clumpy, damp sand. It should not take long.

Make the nazook

  1. Cut the refrigerated dough into quarters.
  2. Form one of the quarters into a ball. Dust your working surface with a little flour.
  3. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle or oval. The dough should be thin, but not transparent.
  4. Spread 1/4 of the filling mixture across the rolled-out dough in an even layer.
  5. From one of the long sides, start slowly rolling the dough across. Be careful to make sure the filling stays evenly distributed. Roll all the way across until you have a long, thin loaf.
  6. Pat down the loaf with your palm and fingers so that it flattens out a bit (just a bit).
  7. Apply your egg yolk wash with a pastry brush.
  8. Use your crinkle cutter (or knife) to cut the loaf into 10 equally-sized pieces. Put onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Place in an oven preheated to 350F (175C) for about 30 minutes, until the tops are a rich, golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Variations

The pastry dough can be made with egg yolks instead of the sour cream, if you want a richer-hued pastry dough. Apparently this is the way my grandmother made it. You'd need to add enough yolks to achieve the same dough consistency as you would with the sour cream.

There are far more variations when it comes to the filling. Here are some common variations and additions (from traditional to less traditional):

  • mahleb - a powder made from the pits of a type of cherry; it has an almond/cherry flavor
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • ground walnuts
  • ground hazelnuts
  • ground almonds

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 piece
Calories 152
Calories from Fat81
% Daily Value *
Fat 9 g14%
Carbohydrates 15 g5%
Protein 2 g4%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Nutritional Information

 
 
Recipe (40 pcs)
Piece
calories
 
6082
152
fat
g
374
9
carbohydrates
g
618
15
protein
g
69
2
sodium
mg
175
4
Recipe made with: unsalted butter, regular sour cream, and 1 egg yolk for the wash.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        ruby 3 weeks ago

        Jason, THANK YOU!. For many years I have been searching for the best recipe for Armenian Kata and I finally I found yours, which is the best of all I know so far. Yesterday I baked Kata as per your recipe and they are fantastic. Unbelievably good. Thank you. I encourage all professionals to use it confidently.

      • profile image

        Victoria 5 weeks ago

        These are delicious!!!....if you just follow the recipe and not be concerned with what if’s concerning the yeast...it will come out perfect! My family loved them. Yes, just put the yeast in with the flour..Does anyone have more Old Armenian recipes?

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 4 months ago from San Francisco

        Yes, the recipe works as stated.

      • profile image

        Carol 4 months ago

        I had a question posted and cannot find it. Does the yeast get incorporated right into the flour without dissolving it in water? I am wondering if it will activate seeing that after that it is put into the fridge. Can you please tell me about this process a bit more? I do not want to waste expensive ingredients and time to make it.

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 5 months ago from San Francisco

        I don't know, having never tried myself. I'm curious what the pre-bake cooking does to the flavor and texture of the filling, if anything.

      • profile image

        smoore 5 months ago

        I like this recipe; however my grandmother made the filling on the stove, melting the butter adding flour and sugar and cooking slightly. can you tell me if there is a difference from cooked or non cooked filling ?

      • profile image

        pris 13 months ago

        So amazing. I will make this soon. Thank you!

      • profile image

        jasmine 22 months ago

        Wow thank you! My mother told me her Armenian grandmother Banoosh used to make these, but the recipe was lost. This is the most authentic one Ive found...now I can carry on the tradition with a little modern flair. :)

      • profile image

        Nina Yousefian 24 months ago

        The recipe is excellent. I use it all the tine

      • profile image

        Georgette from Lombard, IL 2 years ago

        OMGosh. I am 63, just tasted this forn the first time Sundy at church. Thank you for shaing Aunt Aida and her recipe, can't wait to try this.

      • jcsteele profile image

        Jelena 2 years ago from Florida

        It sounds like a very interesting and delicious recipe. i defiantly will try it out.

      • chili recipes profile image

        chili recipes 3 years ago

        will have to try it. Many thanks for sharing!!!

      • colorfulone profile image

        Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

        Thanks for sharing the recipe, and for a great video to watch. This is a very good recipe bub. Sure would like to sample the Nozook.

      • PhDancer profile image

        Sarah Fletcher 3 years ago from Adelaide

        Yum! These are fascinating and look delicious. I love learning about traditional recipes I haven't heard of before, especially sweet ones like this! I hope there are more cool things like this in your Aunty's mental recipe book! :)

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 4 years ago from San Francisco

        I'm afraid I haven't tried. Maybe you can add more/less flour so that the dough you're left with has a similar texture? And although it seems someone who's allergic to sour cream might be allergic to yogurt, too, maybe Greek yogurt would work (they certainly have similar textures).

      • profile image

        Ashley P 4 years ago

        these loook amazing (im a bit late to the party it seems) but have you tried making these with the egg yolk instead of sour cream? my roomate is allergic to sour cream so i tried the yolks and it just doesnt looks the same as your aunts dough. any suggestions? d you think a greek yogurt might work instead?

      • LaThing profile image

        LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

        Great recipe! Have to try it..... Looks pretty easy. Thanks for sharing :)

      • profile image

        Hanna 4 years ago

        Shad Shnorhagalem for this recipe! I backed Nazook for first time for my husband who is Armenian. This recipe is perfect :)

      • profile image

        Yervant 4 years ago

        I love nazook and I loved this video demonstration! Aida Tantig should have her own show with regular episodes! Ձեռքերուն դալար:

      • light20 profile image

        Lanao G 4 years ago from Ozamiz City, Philippines

        Wow! Looks delicious to me...Want to learn to cook this someday. Yummy Hub you got there!

      • IslandBites profile image

        IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

        Nice hub!

      • profile image

        Lina 5 years ago

        Asdvadz orhne dzez, the best recipe ever.

      • profile image

        Stella 5 years ago

        Second year running! I just getting ready for Easter and planning 2 batches this time instead of one! Hope it works! Thanks again for this wonderful recipe that no one ever shares .

      • profile image

        SegullS 5 years ago

        I backed these and they are awsom!!! And I'm Portuguese! Thank for sharing.

      • vibesites profile image

        vibesites 5 years ago from United States

        It looks quite easy to do and really yummy! Thanks for posting this new (at least to me) pastry recipe. Voted up and shared.

      • Bake Like a Pro profile image

        Bake Like a Pro 5 years ago

        Well, I made these pastries last week. They were easy to make and VERY delicious. The whole batch finished in two days, no kidding. I used to buy these nazok/gata pastries from specialty stores. Now thanks to your aunt Aida I can make them myself. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

      • Bake Like a Pro profile image

        Bake Like a Pro 5 years ago

        This is my favorite pastry. I am so glad I found this site. I am going to make it tomorrow :).

      • Anje Filio profile image

        Angéla-Rose 5 years ago from Toronto

        fantastic. I was looking for this recipe and am so glad I finally found it.

      • Mimi0115 profile image

        Mimi0115 5 years ago

        What an amazing find I remember my mom making nazouk, I think I still remember the whole house smelling like it when it's baking I will definitely try this at home.

      • anusujith profile image

        Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

        good recipe...voted up

      • profile image

        SimplyBakes 6 years ago

        Loove your Aunt Aida, wish i can bake as well as her:D Gonna try this soon!

        -SimplyBakes

      • profile image

        Lena 6 years ago

        Thank you. I just did it with the help of video, came out perfect.

        God bless her .

      • profile image

        Stella 6 years ago

        Just finished baking with this wonderful ,foolproof recipe . Thanks for sharing, thanks a million Aunt Aida ! Greatly appreciated! :-))))))

      • profile image

        Stella 6 years ago

        I have been searching for a good Nazook recepie that no one is willing to share forever.

        Thanks to your aunt Aida, I am just going to try this recepie just in time for Easter! My own home made Nazook! Will post the results!

      • profile image

        VeveSmith 6 years ago

        thank you so much for sharing this. Your aunt is wonderful! I will try to make them as well.

      • profile image

        Anoush 6 years ago

        I have always loved eating Nazook, but now I can make it! thanks for sharing. Aunt Aida is adorable and I am sure every Armenian family has an "Aunt Aida". It is our responsibility to document their recipes so that they are not lost over time. Thanks for taking the time to do just that. I will make it for Easter.

        Bachigner - Anoush

      • profile image

        ani janessian 6 years ago

        tserkerout talar very professional thank you for sharing same to whoever tape the making of nazoog we can learn from you a lot if only you wonted thank you again

      • Nare Anthony profile image

        Nare Gevorgyan 6 years ago

        Nice :)

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

        Well, we Barskahai call this Nazook; Gata is only the round one. I have been to Armenia with my family once.

      • Nare Anthony profile image

        Nare Gevorgyan 6 years ago

        Awesome! Yeah we Armenians call is Gata, I had never heard the name Nazook :D That kinda sound funny. Armenians consider gata as a national cookie and often put a coin inside of it, whoever finds it it meant to be lucky! Have you ever been to Armenia livelonger?

      • urmilashukla23 profile image

        Urmila 6 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

        Awesome step by step video instructions. Great job. Bookmarked, shared and voted up!

      • urmilashukla23 profile image

        Urmila 6 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

        Awesome video for the recipe. Thanks for posting it.

        Bookmarked and shared.

      • profile image

        naz 6 years ago

        thank you so much, ive been searching for this recipe for the longest time. My friend and I are going to try this for sure

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

        Thanks, SanneL. I love cinnamon and mahleb, too. The latter has such a nice, unique flavor that I always associate with Middle Eastern pastries.

      • SanneL profile image

        SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

        Oh my, these looks absolutely delicious! This is a recipe I definitely like to try out. I would love to make it with mahleb which I love or cinnamon. Bookmarking and rated up. Thanks for sharing!

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

        Thanks, RedElf! She is indeed a gem, and nazook do more than look yummy: they taste awesome. :)

      • RedElf profile image

        RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

        Love the video! These look SO yummy, and your Auntie is a gem. Love Maddie's idea about the cooking show, too - you already have some nice theme music happening. :D

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

        kat11: Well, I tried to make gluten-free nazook. Unmitigated disaster! The problem is the flour. First I tried Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour; it had way too much garbanzo (chick pea) flour, so it tasted way too "beany." Then I tried a more standard flour mix, that uses primarily rice flour, potato starch, and some xanthan gum (a very popular recipe). It could not "hold" the butter and it created a huge pool of grease that the nazooks floated and fried in.

        Maybe someone with more experience with gluten-free baking could provide some suggestions. I've read a little about using sorghum flour, but I couldn't find it at my local Whole Foods.

      • profile image

        Kiki 6 years ago

        Thanks for your kind attention to share with us this perfect recipe .I have been looking for a Nazook recipe for a long time .Thanks alotttttttttttttttttt

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

        Thank you, everyone, for your comments! Aunt Aida is a baking whiz.

        kat11: I hope so! Actually, your question is timely. I'm going to try to convert this recipe this weekend to be both gluten-free and vegan, to see if it still works. I've found a recipe for a replacement of flour, and I plan on using coconut oil instead of butter, and pureed silken tofu instead of sour cream. Keep your fingers crossed! If it's successful, I'll add it to this Hub.

      • kat11 profile image

        kat11 6 years ago from Illinois

        It look Delicious! Do you think it can be made Gluten-Free

      • michabelle profile image

        michabelle 6 years ago

        I love this hub. What a neat video, such fun to watch! Now feeling very hungry.

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

        Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        That would be a fun series to watch.

      • Maddie Ruud profile image

        Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

        Aunt Aida is a rockstar. She *must* become a regular guest on the "Livelonger Cooking Show."

      • Cardisa profile image

        Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

        Gosh! I am now hungry. It looks good, I could just pluck it from the computer!

      • asmaiftikhar profile image

        asmaiftikhar 6 years ago from Pakistan

        yumy recipe.

      • Eiddwen profile image

        Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

        Mmm a delicious sounding recipe.

        I will let you know how I get on.

        An up here plus bookmarked.

        Take care

        Eddy.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

        Oh me, oh my oh--these look fabulous. How neat that you have posted this Nazook recipe online! Bravo Aunt Aida!

      • livelonger profile image
        Author

        Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

        Thank you all for your comments!

        Simone: I agree on the ingeniousness of using the glass bottle, and the calorieworthiness of it!

        thesingernurse: I agree! There are a lot of Armenian foods that are delicious. Choreg is another delicious pastry (and quite a bit easier to make).

        Ryan: Seriously! I hadn't either. Should be in any baker's or assassin's arsenal.

        K9: All the credit goes to my aunt, who sacrificed an afternoon showing me how it's done. Did I mention she made an incredibly good lentil soup for lunch, too? I really need to visit her more often! HubHugs and shalom, my friend.

        Leah: She's an amazing cook. How that entire family maintains their weight, I have no idea. This was a first for me, too, where the yeast dough rose in the refrigerator.

        Marcy: Excellent idea! Ever since I calculated the calories, I've been trying to share them with everyone I come in contact with (which is difficult...).

      • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

        Marcy Goodfleisch 6 years ago from Planet Earth

        Sign me up with Leah to be Aunt Aida's next neice! What a tempting recipe! I will need to invite everyone I know to come over when I bake these. Otherwise, I'll eat them all myself. Voted up and awesome.

      • leahlefler profile image

        Leah Lefler 6 years ago from Western New York

        Oh my goodness. I am going to weigh a million pounds with these amazing recipes. That Nazook looks absolutely amazing! And I've never made a yeast bread recipe where the yeast could be added to cold ingredients. I love this one because it looks so easy to do, and SO delicious. Also, will Aunt Aida adopt me? I'm pretty sure I could live on her bread alone! Yum.

      • K9keystrokes profile image

        India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

        ...Nazook...(not Nazzok) my fingers apparently had their own version of how to spell this delicacy! **blushing**

      • K9keystrokes profile image

        India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

        This is one of the best video guides I have found! And the Nazzok Recipe is awesomely simple to follow with such beautiful results! Your "Star," she has much to teach us! You have outdone yourself livelonger, just when I thought you were among the perfect few, you show me another level of greatness! A sure masterpiece my friend! Voted up and shared as it should be!

        Super HubHugs and Shalom~

        K9

      • profile image

        SJmorningsun25 6 years ago

        This looks unbelievably good. Bookmarking for future use! Voted up, useful, and awesome!

      • Ryan Floyd profile image

        Ryan Floyd 6 years ago

        Great hub and video. Never heard of a crinkle cutter. That is a serious baking tool!

      • thesingernurse profile image

        thesingernurse 6 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

        I don't mind the calories at all. These look so delicious.

        And thank you for sharing this valuable recipe. It reflects a part of Armenian's culture. Your food delicacies rock! :D

        Voted up and bookmarked this hub!

      • emimemo profile image

        emimemo 6 years ago from USA

        Awesome! It looks great.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

        I think my jaw just dropped so far that it has become unhinged. I'm suing for damages, livelonger.

        Seriously though- this guide is AWESOME!!! I've never heard of Nazook before. It's gorgeous- and it looks amazing! I really enjoyed the video. I love the little peek you've given us into Aunt Aida's kitchen- and I love how she rolls the dough out using a bottle. SO SMART! I bet this tastes amazing- and the cinnamon variation, I imagine, would be especially divine!!!

        And nutrition-wise, this ain't all THAT bad...... TOTALLY WORTH THE DELICIOUSNESS!

      working