My mom found a recipe my grandmother had for a Middle Eastern pastry called Nazook. The recipe was originally typed in Russian…
Since most of the women in my family cannot read Russian, my mom dictated the recipe to me in english so that I could share it with the family. I cut the recipe by a third! I didn’t want that much Nazook hanging around my house!
Her version of the above recipe is a little different based on her preference to use butter rather than margarine. She also dissolved the yeast with a little salt and sugar in warm water. She says this makes a difference. I trust her on that since she’s 87 years old and has a “few” years of baking under her belt!
Here is the translation plus my own notes after attempting to make this recipe this weekend! This is a two day process because of the yeast in the dough.
1½ cubes of butter softened
½ cup sour cream
½ package yeast
1½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Beat butter and sour cream.
Dissolve yeast, salt and sugar in 1/8 cup warm water.
Add yeast and flour to the butter and sour cream mixture and mix well.
Put in a Ziplock bag in the refrigerator overnight.
1 cube butter softened
1 cup sugar
1½ cups flour
Mix the above ingredients with your hands until crumbly. Place in a Ziplock bag in the refrigerator overnight.
Assembling the Nazook:
Preheat oven to 350°
Take the dough and filling out of the refrigerator.
Divide the dough into 2 parts.
Flour your rolling surface real good!
Roll one section of the dough portion out thin – about a ¼ inch thin.
Divide the filling into 2 parts.
Place 1 part filling on top of one part rolled out dough and pat down REAL GOOD (like you were making a pie crust). Then roll the filling topped dough (like a jelly roll) nice and tight. The filling will try to escape out the sides. Push it back in place. If your dough sticks to the surface, use more flour and a plastic pancake turner to lift the dough carefully from your surface as you are rolling. Once you have finished rolling the dough, lightly flatten and shape your dough. Repeat with your other dough and filling portion. You should now have two pastry rolls.
Using a very sharp knife, slice off 1 inch and use your knife and your hand to transport the cut slice to your cookie sheet (this will hold the filling inside the dough). The filling will still try to escape! I used a Silpat lined cookie sheet.
Bake one cookie sheet of pastry slices at a time in a 350° oven until the pastries are light golden brown – around 20-30 minutes depending on how thin you sliced the dough. This recipe will make 24 half inch thick pastries or 18 one inch thick pastries.
The picture above shows the Nazook I made. I made half inch slices and one inch slices. I think the thinner slices would be a great tea party addition…