Sweet & Savory Friendship Bread

My commitment to write a weekly blog went out the door over the past three weeks. Headaches, lack of interest in anything, but watching the news, and incredible sadness was all that I've felt. I knew I wasn't alone, and that gave me some comfort. 

But I think I'm slowly coming out of the fog, I'm slowly finding hopes in what an incredible community of people we have all around the world that are raising their voices. I'm slowly finding my strenght to take actions that make a different, like donating pastries to different organization that are the voice of resistance, like speaking up even if that means I'm losing few Instagram or Facebook fans. 

I'm still fearful for my sweet Iran, I'm still fearful that my family back home won't be safe, I'm still fearful that there will be a war, and I'm still fearful that I won't be able to spend time with my family here in the US, my home. 

Then I found comfort in baking, but this time I'm not baking a pastry, no this time-I'm baking a bread- a big batch of dough that would be big enough to offer to neighbors, to friends, and to anyone who needs a warm piece of bread - a sweet bread to wash away all the negatively- a savory bread with all the Iranian flavors and spices....fenugreek, cumin salt, safflower, nigelle seeds, & sesame seeds. A bread to connect my two worlds together.  

One recipe but two different styles and yes you can have it both sweet and savory. 

Put on your apron , get some milk out of the fridge, and lets forget about the troubles of the world, but always remember this: 

If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table, not a taller fence.

Key points: 

  • When I baked this bread, I didn't add the full amount of sugar that was in the original recipe- that's because I didn't want it to be overly sweet for a savory bread, but if you are only making sweet bread, then you can up the sugar to a 1/2 cup. 
  • You also need to omit cardamom and add seasoning salt of your choice. I've used cumin salt
  • Note when the dough is almost ready, take out the half portion for the sweet dough, dust your work space, add cardamom to the dough and knead, then place it in a greased bowl
  • At this point, you can add the seasoning salt and your spices to make the savory dough. 
  • You can get creative and fill the savory dough with a spinach mix, eggs, even ground meat, but i choose shredded cheddar cheese. 

Friendship Bread

Yields:  48 small rolls                                        Bake time: 20 minutes


Ingredients for the dough: 

  • 150g butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast 
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • a pinch of salt
  • 6 1/2 cups+ all purpose flour

Filling for sweet bread:

  • 7  tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 125g walnuts, chopped    
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom/to be added to the dough before raising  

Filling for savory bread:    

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin salt / to be added to the dough before raising 
  • 3 tablespoons of Nane Spice Mix
  • 200g shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 

Brushing and garnish for sweet dough: 

  • 1 egg lightly beaten 
  • pearl sugar
  • 50g sliced almonds 


  1. Have two large bowls ready and grease with olive oil and set aside
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and heat to 115°, just warm to the touch
  3. Pour the milk into the bowl of your stand mixer, keep about half a cup in the saucepan, add the yeast and mix well until the yeast is dissolved. Use the paddle attachment and mix in the dissolved yeast. 
  4. Add the one egg, sugar, salt and mix well
  5. Switch the paddle attachment to the dough hook and add more than half of the flour and mix. 
  6. At this point add as much flour to make a soft dough that is shiny, porous, and elastic. The dough should form around the blade and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. 
  7. Dust your work surface and divide the dough in half 
  8. Add the two teaspoons of cardamom to the sweet dough, knead to ensure the cardamom is well mixed and place the dough in the greased bowl, cover with a bread cloth 
  9. Add cumin salt or any seasoning salt, and Nane spice mix, knead to mix all the spices and place in the second greased bowl, cover with a bread cloth 
  10. Let them rise until they're doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile mix the ingredients for the cinnamon filling together. 
  11. Grease a muffin pan and set aside, heat up your oven to 400°F
  12. Dust your work surface, and roll out the sweet dough to 3/4" use a large 6" round cookie cutter to cut the dough, fill with a tablespoon of filling, bring together, and with the seam at the bottom, place in a muffin sheet
  13. Repeat this step until you're done with your dough, cover the dough and let rise until almost double in size. brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with pearl sugar and slivered almonds and bake on a low oven rack for 15-20 minutes 
  14. Follow the same procedures to bake the savory rolls, but instead fill them up with a cheese mix and after the egg wash, sprinkle with Nane spice mix and bake. 


Thank you for being with me this week. I hope you enjoy baking this bread- Lets spread love and friendship.