A request came from Azam for filled katah (gata). His description was a bit vague, but I managed to find a recipe in my copy of the St. John Armenian Church (Michigan) cookbook, “Armenian Cuisine- Preserving Our Heritage”. The recipe was submitted by Nancy Kazarian and Dolly Matoian noting that this version came from a Russian-Armenian katah recipe.
I sent it to Azam. He wrote back saying:
“This does sound familiar, especially the filling. I am not an expert in baking but I do manage my way with flour and sugar. I bake non-bread-like pastries better, since I am terrible at kneading the dough… I will give this a try this weekend and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for looking this up for me.”
I’m hoping Azam will try making this because only he will know if this is truly the taste he’s after.
Easy Khoritzov Katah Rolls
1 pkg. (2 ½ tsp.) active dry yeast
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. sour cream or plain yogurt
4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup flour
½ cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
Egg Wash: 2 eggs, beaten – OR- 2 egg yolks, beaten
Making the Dough:
In a small measuring cup, dissolve yeast over warm water (110 - 115°F) and whisk in sugar and flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise. Meanwhile, beat butter in bowl of a mixer. Add eggs, beating until well-blended. Add sour cream (or yogurt), softened yeast and salt. Mix in flour a little at a time in small amounts only until you have a soft dough. Knead by hand or mixer until smooth and soft. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
Toast the flour in a sauté pan over low heat, stirring until it very slightly changes color. Add melted butter and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Place in a small bowl, mixing to incorporate. Cool slightly and divide onto 4 pieces of waxed paper.
Divide the risen dough into 4 equal-sized balls and cover with plastic wrap on a work surface. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to about ¼ inch thick rectangle, about 7” x 10”. Spread with one of the four reserved fillings. Roll up lengthwise as you would a jelly roll.
Two choices to shape:
1. Slice in ½” to ¾” slices. Turn on their sides on a parchment-lined tray, straighten into circles.
2. Cut into 2” to 3” lengths; place on parchment paper-lined tray with seam on the bottom.
Cover tray with plastic wrap and allow to rise.
Brush with egg wash and place in a preheated 375°F oven for about 10 minutes. Turn tray, reduce heat to 350°F and bake another 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
NOTE: Katahs keep well in an airtight container, or can be frozen.