Monday, January 16, 2012

Katah (Armenian Sweet Rolls)

5 eggs
1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
9-12 cups AP flour
Sturdy stand mixer

1 egg
3 tbsp water

Combine eggs, butter, sugar, milk, water, & yeast in mixer bowl with dough hook attachment. Add 4 cups flour. Mix to combine. Add 3 more cups flour and mix to combine. Add 1 cup flour at a time now, until the dough is sticky & lose but comes off the sides of the bowl in a slight ball.  This is a very large batch of dough. It will almost fill your entire mixer bowl. Take your time mixing everything in. You may need only 9 cups of flour to reach the the appropriate consistency. I usually need more (around 11 cups).

Once mixed (no need to knead!) , let rise 3-4 hours.

Punch dough down, and roll pieces a little larger than a golf ball under palm until you make a 1/2" diameter log shape. You don't need any flour for rolling and shaping. The dough is soft and supple and shouldn't be sticky anymore. Shape the log into a pinwheel or an "S" shape. *Traditionally, you would roll a few of the Nigella seeds into the dough as you shape it. I sprinkle them on at the end instead. You can do either, it's a personal preference thing.

Place rolls on parchment lined baking sheets about 2" apart.

Let rolls rise another 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix one egg with 3 tbsp water in a small dish. Brush each roll with egg wash using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with a few Nigella seeds (if you didn't already add them).

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the rolls are golden and sound "hollow" when you tap the top.

Makes about 36 rolls. They can be frozen. Serving them warmed is best.

Nigella Seeds
Nigella seeds can be read about here. They are pungent, bitter, peppery, and have a hint of Oregano flavor. They can't be substituted…you can leave them out…but you'll be seriously missing out! They can be purchased at specialty food markets or on sites like Amazon.