Highly Addictive Pastries

Shor Gogal is a famous, savory layered bun with spiced filling made with turmeric, cumin, fennel seeds, and butter. This Azerbaijani pastry is traditional for the spring holiday Novruz.

Variations

Layers, Spirals, and Knots

There are variations for the dough, filling, and shaping methods for these buns. After experimenting with several recipes, I found the one I like the most for the balance of flavors and beautiful, thin, delicate layers of soft dough.

For the Baku version, the layered dough is rolled, sliced to ~2″ thick cylinders, which are flattened with a palm of your hand to make spiraled buns. Since the layers are open to the hot air while baking, spiral buns are drier and crunchier. Knotted buns can be made with thinner layers and yet be softer when cooked.

Butter and Oil

In this version, I combine avocado oil with butter to make layers more distinguished. Good butter adds more flavor, but it contains some water, which is not suitable for laminating the dough. A combination of neutrally flavored oil and butter is a solution. Using a spray makes the process faster and easier.

Spices and Aromatics

This recipe combination of spices and aromatics originates from the Baku version. Be careful with the type of cumin — it should be Jeera, tiny dark seeds available at Indian grocery stores. They have a slightly different flavor. For better results, start with whole seeds, roast and grind them right before adding them to the stuffing. I add some flour to the roasted seeds before grinding to create volume and to make sure they grind to a powder.

If you don’t care for spices or don’t have them handy, try a combination of salt, pepper, and dry herbs (e.g., parsley, dill, thyme, tarragon, wild garlic, etc.).

The sweet layered Azerbaijani pastries are Shirin Gogal and Badambura.

Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun
Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun
Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun
Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun

Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun

Prep Time2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Azerbaijani
Keyword: bread, layered dough, pastry, savory, spiced
Servings: 16 buns
Calories: 302kcal

Ingredients

  • 600 g wheat flour all-purpose
  • 5 g Saf Instant Yeast
  • 50 g sugar fine
  • 5 g fine salt
  • 1 each egg
  • 50 g sour cream
  • 80 g butter soft
  • 200 ml water cold

for stuffing

  • 150 g wheat flour all-purpose
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powdered
  • 0.5 tsp ginger powdered
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin jeera seeds
  • 0.5 tsp black peppercorns
  • 100 g butter soft

for layering

  • 4 tbsp avocado oil spray

for egg wash and toppings

  • 1 each egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water cold
  • 2 tbsp nigella seeds

Instructions

  • In a bowl, measure and combine all dry ingredients for the dough.
  • Add wet ingredients to the bowl. Combine dry and wet ingredients to make crumbs. Knead the soft dough, shape into a ball, place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let ferment for an hour at room temperature (72-74F).

for stuffing

  • Measure all ingredients.
  • Heat a small frying pan over high heat until very hot. Take it off the heat, add whole seeds and roast them until they start popping.
  • In a grinder, combine 1 tbsp flour, powdered turmeric and ginger, salt, and roasted fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns. Grind until they are powdered. Combine with the rest of the flour in a bowl.
  • Add soft butter to the flour mixture and turn it into fine crumbs.

for shaping

  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each one into a square 0.2" thick. Spray the bottom layer of dough with avocado oil and evenly spread a portion of stuffing. Cover it with the second layer of dough, spray with avocado oil, spread the stuffing. Repeat to make 4 layers.
  • Gently roll any air pockets that might have been trapped between the layers of dough. Roll the layered dough to make it twice the size. Divide it in half, spray obe half with avocado oil, spread the last portion of stuffing and cover with the second half. Now we have 8 layers of dough.
  • Roll to stretch the layered dough to make the short side twice as long.
  • Cut the layered dough into 18 strips. Shape the buns as shown in the video or any other way you like. Cover and let them rest for an hour at room temperature. I use half-size baking sheets lined with silicone mats and plastic lids. Start to preheat the oven to 375F.

for baking

  • Combine egg yolk and water to make the egg wash. Using a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of egg wash on the surface of the buns. Sprinkle the buns with nigella seeds or any other seeds of your choice (e.g., sesame seeds, cumin, etc.)
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let rest on a cooling rack when baked. Enjoy them with hot sweet black tea. They are also great with hot poultry stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 301IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg
Shor Gogal | Savory Layered Bun