Jason has been an online writer for over 12 years. His articles focus on everything from philosophy to delicious recipes.
Nazook is a crisp (but soft), buttery, and 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 (also spelled nazouk or nazuk) 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 it, and she sent me home with 40 pieces of this pastry (yes, that sound you hear is the death knell of my weight loss efforts).
More About Nazook
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 usually prepare it around the time of Easter, and it is eaten for 40 days through Ascension. I'm not sure it has any religious significance except that this time usually involves friends visiting each other, and nazook is a nice pastry to serve along with coffee or tea.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
5 hours 30 min
40 pieces of nazook
- 2 bowls
- 2 cookie sheets
- pastry brush
- rolling pin, or empty wine bottle
- crinkle cutter, or a sharp knife
- 4 1/2 cups (563 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 8 ounces (227 grams) sour cream
- 3 1/2 sticks (397 grams) softened butter (room temperature)
- 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons or 7 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups (338 grams) sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 egg yolks (for the wash; alternatively, some yogurt, egg whites, or a whole egg)
Step 1: Make the Pastry Dough
- Sift 3 cups (375 grams) of the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the dry yeast, and mix it in.
- Add the sour cream and 2 sticks (227 grams) of the softened butter.
- Use your hands or a standing mixer with a paddle attachment to work it into a dough.
- 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.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours.
Step 2: Make the Filling
- Mix together the remaining (1 1/2 cups, 188 grams) flour, the sugar, and the remaining (1 1/2 stick, 170 grams) softened butter.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Mix the filling until it looks like clumpy, damp sand. It should not take long.
Step 3: Make the Nazook
- Cut the refrigerated dough into quarters.
- Form one of the quarters into a ball. Dust your working surface with a little flour.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle or oval. The dough should be thin, but not transparent.
- Spread 1/4 of the filling mixture across the rolled-out dough in an even layer.
- 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.
- Pat down the loaf with your palm and fingers so that it flattens out a bit (just a bit).
- Apply your egg yolk wash with a pastry brush.
- Use your crinkle cutter (or knife) to cut the loaf into 10 equally sized pieces. Put the pieces onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Place in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes, until the tops are a rich, golden brown.
- Allow to cool and enjoy!
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
- ground walnuts
- ground hazelnuts
- ground almonds
|Recipe (40 pcs)||Piece|
Suzy J M Sarkissian on July 23, 2020:
Since I made this more than once, I felt I should give credit to you and Auntie Aida. It comes out perfectly golden and incredibly scrumptious! I do use a scale for the measurements and I had to add additional flour to the dough mixture, per her suggestion as it was way too sticky to handle.
I’m certain we all agree we need more of Auntie Aida’s cooking/baking tutorials.
Michelle on April 26, 2020:
In the recipe, it says that one should refrigerate the dough for 3 to 5 hours. refrigerating it slows down the process of the dough rising but I wan’t sure if it had any other effects on the dough that effects the final result. Would it turn out the same if I just left the dough on the counter covered with a wet cloth for 2 hours instead? Just wonder! I’ve made this recipe a few times before and just left the dough in the fridge overnight and it turned out fine.
A. Sarkezi on March 26, 2019:
recipe is amazing, It is very delirious, Thank you so much
Nazli on February 03, 2019:
I literally flew my mom to California to teach me this recipe, which was handed down to us by Armenian-Iranian friends -- very similar to your aunt's. As our parent's generation ages, would be such a shame to lose these recipes....
ruby on March 30, 2018:
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.
Victoria on March 18, 2018:
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?
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on December 19, 2017:
Yes, the recipe works as stated.
Carol on December 18, 2017:
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.
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on November 13, 2017:
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.
smoore on November 09, 2017:
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 ?
pris on March 28, 2017:
So amazing. I will make this soon. Thank you!
jasmine on June 21, 2016:
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. :)
Nina Yousefian on May 01, 2016:
The recipe is excellent. I use it all the tine
Georgette from Lombard, IL on November 11, 2015:
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.
Jelena from Florida on June 12, 2015:
It sounds like a very interesting and delicious recipe. i defiantly will try it out.
chili recipes on October 23, 2014:
will have to try it. Many thanks for sharing!!!
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on September 11, 2014:
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.
Sarah Fletcher from Adelaide on September 10, 2014:
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! :)
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on January 28, 2014:
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).
Ashley P on January 28, 2014:
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 from From a World Within, USA on December 10, 2013:
Great recipe! Have to try it..... Looks pretty easy. Thanks for sharing :)
Hanna on September 21, 2013:
Shad Shnorhagalem for this recipe! I backed Nazook for first time for my husband who is Armenian. This recipe is perfect :)
Yervant on September 20, 2013:
I love nazook and I loved this video demonstration! Aida Tantig should have her own show with regular episodes! Ձեռքերուն դալար:
LG from Ozamiz City, Philippines on June 29, 2013:
Wow! Looks delicious to me...Want to learn to cook this someday. Yummy Hub you got there!
IslandBites from Puerto Rico on June 29, 2013:
Lina on March 27, 2013:
Asdvadz orhne dzez, the best recipe ever.
Stella on March 24, 2013:
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 .
SegullS on February 20, 2013:
I backed these and they are awsom!!! And I'm Portuguese! Thank for sharing.
vibesites from United States on December 19, 2012:
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 on December 17, 2012:
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 on December 06, 2012:
This is my favorite pastry. I am so glad I found this site. I am going to make it tomorrow :).
Angéla-Rose from Toronto on November 27, 2012:
fantastic. I was looking for this recipe and am so glad I finally found it.
Mimi0115 on November 17, 2012:
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.
Anoop Aravind A from Nilambur, Kerala, India on April 28, 2012:
good recipe...voted up
SimplyBakes on April 09, 2012:
Loove your Aunt Aida, wish i can bake as well as her:D Gonna try this soon!
Lena on April 05, 2012:
Thank you. I just did it with the help of video, came out perfect.
God bless her .
Stella on April 04, 2012:
Just finished baking with this wonderful ,foolproof recipe . Thanks for sharing, thanks a million Aunt Aida ! Greatly appreciated! :-))))))
Stella on April 04, 2012:
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!
VeveSmith on March 26, 2012:
thank you so much for sharing this. Your aunt is wonderful! I will try to make them as well.
Anoush on March 25, 2012:
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
ani janessian on March 24, 2012:
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 Gevorgyan on March 17, 2012:
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on March 17, 2012:
Well, we Barskahai call this Nazook; Gata is only the round one. I have been to Armenia with my family once.
Nare Gevorgyan on March 17, 2012:
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?
Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on March 13, 2012:
Awesome step by step video instructions. Great job. Bookmarked, shared and voted up!
Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on March 01, 2012:
Awesome video for the recipe. Thanks for posting it.
Bookmarked and shared.
naz on February 28, 2012:
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
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 21, 2012:
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 from Sweden on February 21, 2012:
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!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 13, 2012:
Thanks, RedElf! She is indeed a gem, and nazook do more than look yummy: they taste awesome. :)
RedElf from Canada on February 13, 2012:
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
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 11, 2012:
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.
Kiki on February 10, 2012:
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
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 09, 2012:
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 from Illinois on February 09, 2012:
It look Delicious! Do you think it can be made Gluten-Free
michabelle on February 08, 2012:
I love this hub. What a neat video, such fun to watch! Now feeling very hungry.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 07, 2012:
That would be a fun series to watch.
Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on February 07, 2012:
Aunt Aida is a rockstar. She *must* become a regular guest on the "Livelonger Cooking Show."
Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on February 07, 2012:
Gosh! I am now hungry. It looks good, I could just pluck it from the computer!
asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on February 07, 2012:
Eiddwen from Wales on February 07, 2012:
Mmm a delicious sounding recipe.
I will let you know how I get on.
An up here plus bookmarked.
RTalloni on February 06, 2012:
Oh me, oh my oh--these look fabulous. How neat that you have posted this Nazook recipe online! Bravo Aunt Aida!
Jason Menayan (author) from San Francisco on February 06, 2012:
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 from Planet Earth on February 06, 2012:
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.
Leah Lefler from Western New York on February 06, 2012:
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.
India Arnold from Northern, California on February 06, 2012:
...Nazook...(not Nazzok) my fingers apparently had their own version of how to spell this delicacy! **blushing**
India Arnold from Northern, California on February 06, 2012:
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~
SJmorningsun25 on February 06, 2012:
This looks unbelievably good. Bookmarking for future use! Voted up, useful, and awesome!
Ryan Floyd on February 06, 2012:
Great hub and video. Never heard of a crinkle cutter. That is a serious baking tool!
Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on February 06, 2012:
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 from USA on February 06, 2012:
Awesome! It looks great.
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on February 06, 2012:
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!