AZERBAIJAN – Shirin Chorek

bread33I didn’t think that I would be including turmeric amongst my bread making ingredients! This is a sweet bread recipe that hails from Azerbaijan where there are a few different types of flat bread, as is the case for neighbouring countries.

Rating:

  • Faithfulness to recipe: Yes
  • Met expectations? Mostly what I expected from reading the recipe and the comments. The turmeric wasn’t overpowering at all.
  • Would cook again? Maybe I will try it again, but not in a hurry. Definitely don’t add too much flour. I did add a bit too much and the bread was a little too dry.
  • The taste test rated on a score of 5: 3, a little too dry.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 oz / 2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk, (have it in 2 cups as it is used in two steps)
  • 6 +  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, to glaze
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Method

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 cup milk and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt, and turmeric powder. Stir to mix. Make a well in the centre.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, the remaining milk, egg, and melted butter to the well.
  4. Stir with your hands until a sticky ball forms. Scrape the dough onto a flat surface and knead until elastic. The dough will appear to be very sticky in the beginning, but it will come together nicely and will be less sticky as you knead. The final dough should not be very tight, so don’t be tempted to add more flour unless the dough is still very sticky.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm spot for about 1 ½-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Pat them into balls. Place the balls on your working surface and using your hands, flatten them into disks 9 inches (22 cm) in diameter and ½ inch (1.2 cm) thick.
  9. Arrange the disks on the baking sheets. Cover the bread with a clean kitchen towel and leave aside for 1 hour, until they rise again.
  10. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  11. Stir the egg to mix the white and the yolk, and brush the breads with this mixture. Decorate the surface of the breads by tracing cross-hatching patterns with the back of the fork tines, 4 times in each direction, each time at an equal distance from one another.
  12. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until golden, 30 to 35 minutes (if your oven doesn’t fit two baking sheets on one rack, place one sheet on the lower rack, and another on the top rack, bake for 15 minutes, then switch and bake until ready).
  13. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely, then cut into pieces and serve. 

There are some more photos of the process with the recipe I used.

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