I just got back from a glorious 2 week vacation on the East Coast, where I spent most of my time relaxing and enjoying the laziness of summer. Once back home, I managed to make it 24 hours before venturing into the kitchen with a need to create in mind. I decided I wanted to make something requiring a little more effort, something unique and simply delicious. Enter nazook:
Nazook is a Persian pastry that my Iranian grandmother has been making for me for as long as I can remember. No one makes nazook like her, and it is the perfect accompaniment for a hot tea or coffee. The flavor is buttery, sugary, and downright incredible.
Don’t they look great piled up in their little platter?
They model so well! Nazook: ready for its close-up.
Making nazook is a two-day process, hence the challenge I was seeking. But I promise to you: the wait is worth it!
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup sour cream
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 cups flour
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon yogurt
1 teaspoon sugar
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast with 1 cup sour cream; set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Add butter and mix well.
3. Add the egg, oil, and vinegar and mix well.
4. Add the sifted flour gradually and continue mixing.
5. Knead dough for about 15 minutes until smooth and firm so that it does not stick to your hands.
6. Gather dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
7. To make the filling, mix together 1 cup of the melted butter and 2 cups flour. Add 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; stir constantly for 1 minute, so that the mixture does not stick to your hands and becomes smooth and even. Set aside.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
9. Remove dough from the refrigerator; divide it into 8 equal balls. Place each ball on a lightly floured board.
10. Roll each ball out to a rectangle measuring 10-by-6 inches, or as thin as possible with the aid of rolling pin. Paint each rectangle with melted butter.
11. Spread 1/4 cup filling into the center of each rectangle and roll out the filling over it with the aid of a rolling pin.
12. Fold in about 1/2 inch of the rectangle on each side.
13. Roll up dough into a cylinder.
14. Place rolling pin on pastry roll and flatten slightly lengthwise. Cut the roll diagonally with a sharp knife or serrated knife into 2-inch equal slices.
15. Place pastry about 2 inches apart on a lightly floured baking pan. (Be careful not to spill out any filling.)
16. Paint the surface of each pastry with the glaze (mixture of beaten egg and brown.
17. Place baking pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
18. Remove the baking pan from oven and allow the pastries to cool. Enjoy!
Additional note: I made variations! Feel free to get creative with the filling-it’s fun!
1. Cinnamon Walnut Nazook: in the filling, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2. Chocolate Chip Nazook: add 1/4 cup chocolate chips to the filling