Christine Datian, whose family attends that church, asked if I’d share their chorag recipe with you.
How could I refuse?
Makes 2-3 dozen pieces, depending on size - OR - shape into loaves as pictured
2 sticks (or 1 cup) butter and 1 cup shortening, melted together
1 small (8 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 small ( 8 oz.) can water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 yeast cakes - or 2 (1/4 oz.) packets of active dry yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water
8 kernels whole mahleb seeds, crushed (sold in Middle Eastern stores)
8 cups sifted flour
1 beaten egg for egg wash
Garnish with sesame seeds
In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and shortening, milk, water, sugar, salt, yeast, and eggs. Add the crushed mahleb. Gradually add sifted flour and mix to form a soft dough.
Cover and let rise for two hours or until double in size. Roll out and cut to desired shapes,or twist into braids, or large loaves.
Place on ungreased baking sheets, spacing them to allow for expansion. Let rise again on the sheets for about one hour.
Brush tops with egg wash; garnish each top with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.