“My mom just made her signature Gata. It smells like summer, sun, and a mountain breeze.

— This recipe is traditional, — she anticipates my question.
— Why is your Gata ten times better than mine?!
— It’s the quality of ingredients. The sour cream and matsun are the freshest and made of real milk. The butter is a Flower butter I melted myself.

Flower butter! It is made in June-July when high in the mountains wild strawberries are ripe, and flowers are in bloom. Cows then are milked with cream, and the butter churned of this cream makes any other butter seem like a mockery. If happiness has a taste, it should be the taste of Flower butter.”read more: (in Russian) Narine Abgaryan Facebook post

After Narine’s story, I’ve been dreaming of the Flower butter, trying to imagine how it smells and tastes. Since Gata is made of 4 ingredients — flour, fermented milk, butter, and sugar — the quality of each component is what makes this pastry special. I can use the best there is in the states. And then a crazy idea came to my mind. What if I also add the flavor of edible flowers? How about Roman Chamomile? For the first experiment, I powdered 2 teaspoons of dry flowers and added them to the dough and the stuffing. For the second, I’ve infused heavy cream with Chamomile flavor and then fermented it. That was a hit!

Gata
Gata

Gata
Gata

Gata

Cook Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Armenian, Western Asian
Keyword: cream, dessert, edible flowers, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, pastry, recipe
Servings: 12 pastries

Ingredients

for Chamomile infused sour cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup kefir whole milk, Wallaby
  • 1/2 cups chamomile Roman, dry, whole flowers

for dough

  • 200 g wheat flour all-purpose, King Arthur
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 75 g butter Amish, or other high-quality butter
  • 125 g Chamomile infused sour cream

for koritz, the stuffing

  • 125 g whole wheat flour all-purpose, King Arthur
  • 62 g butter Amish, or other high-quality butter
  • 100 g maple sugar or turbinado

for egg wash

  • 1 each egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk or water

Instructions

for Chamomile infused sour cream

  • In a container, combine cream and Chamomile, stir making sure the dry flowers are submerged, cover with a lid, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  • Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Strain and gently squeeze the flowers, then discard them.
  • Combine cream with kefir and let ferment at room temperature for 2 days or until thick. Refrigerate in a closed container until ready to use.

for dough

  • Preheat oven 400F. Measure ingredients, cube the butter.
  • In a bowl, using your hands, cramb flour and butter. Add baking powder and mix well making sure it is equally distributed. Add sour cream and knead a soft dough. Cover and let rest at room temeperature for about 30 minutes.

for koritz, the filling

  • Measure ingredients and cube butter. In a bowl, using your hands, cramb flour and butter. Add sugar and mix well. Squeese a handful of koritz mix in your hand to test. It should hold together.
    NOTE: Try using a good-tasting whole wheat flour for the filling. I experimented with Rouge de Bordeaux flour by Barton Springs Mill and the result was even more exciting!

for baking

  • Rool the dough into a rectangular making it 1/8" thin. Sprinkle it with the filling evenly and gently press it with your hands. Make a roll and gently press it using your hands to make it flatter.
  • Combine egg yolk and milk or water and brush the roll.
  • Using a crinkle cutter, cut the roll to 12 portions and carefully transfer them to a baking pan (half-size fits 12) lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown. Let cool to room temperature and enjoy!

Notes

About true Gata in Russian
wiki:
Gata (Armenian: գաթա, translit. gatʿa; also sometimes transliterated as Gatah (Eastern Armenian) or Katah (Western Armenian) is an Armenian pastry or sweet bread, similar to a coffee cake. There are many variations of gata and typically specific towns or regions will have their own version. It can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and may be decorated or left unadorned. Long ago, gata was baked in a tonir, but it is now baked in ovens. The bread is often baked to coincide with the feast of Candlemas (known as Tiarn'ndaraj in Armenian), but is not limited to the holiday, and is eaten year around.
One popular variety is gata with koritz (khoriz), a filling that consists of flour, butter and sugar. Gata can have other fillings such as nuts, most commonly walnuts. Some variations include placing a coin inside the dough before the gata is baked, and it is said that whoever receives the piece with the coin is to be blessed with good fortune. Gata from the villages of Garni and Geghard are decorated (before baking), round, and generally about a foot in diameter. Around the southern edge of Lake Sevan, in the town of Tsovinar, gata is denser and sweeter and baked without koritz in a triangular shape without decoration.
И мне все снились горы, и золотое цветочное масло, и настоящие мацун со сметаной... И видимо в каком-то бреду пришла идея всыпать мелко молотой ромашки в тесто и в начинку. В следующий раз я решила настоять на ромашке сливки и потом ферментировать их в жирную сметану. В две чашки сливок вмешала горсть сухих цветов ромашки и настаивала в холодильнике сутки. Затем дала нагреться им до комнатной температуры и процедила, отжав цветки. Эти ромашковые сливки я затем смешала в половиной чашки кефира и оставила в комнатной температуре превращаться в жирную сметану, которую затем использовала для теста. Второй вариант победил.
- 200г муки общего назначения King Arthur
- 1/2 ч.л. пекарского порошка
- 75г сливочного масла Амишей (в Остине продается в СМ)
- 125г ромашковой сметаны
в начинку:
- 125 г муки общего назначения King Arthur
- 62г сливочного масла Амишей
- 100 г кленового сахара или турбинадо
- 1 яичный желток + 1 ст.л. воды для обмазки
для теста:
Муку перетираем ладошками с маслом, вмешиваем все остальные ингредиенты и замешиваем тесто. Тесто будет очень мягкое.
для начинки:
Перетираем ладошками муку с маслом и смешиваем с сахаром.
Включаем духовку на разогрев 200C и подготавливаем противень с пергаментной бумагой или силиконовым ковриком. Тесто раскатываем в длинный прямоугольник толщиной 3 мм, распределяем начинку и легонько ее "утаптываем" все теми же ладошками. Потом нежно все сворачиваем в рулет. Укладываем его на шов и снова "утаптываем" чтобы он стал более плоским. В чашке смешиваем кулинарной кисточкой яичный желток и воду. Можно сначала смазать рулет, потом нарезать его, а можно сначала гату нарезать и расположить на противне, потом смазать яичной болтанкой. Нарезаем специальным рифленым ножом (в штатах продается в азиатских магазинах за сущие копейки). Печь 30 минут до темно золотой блестящей корочки.
Gata