Koloucheh, a Persian pastry
Kolouche is a Persian pastry that is very similar to Armenian Gata bread, typically it’s made in the Northern cities of Iran like Lahijan and Gilan. The soft and decorated Kolouche is filled with a layer of cinnamon, nuts, powdered sugar, and butter.
In my mind Kolouche has always been associated with the green hills of the North, the moist and cool weather, and sprinkles of rain. In the old days, Kolouche was only available in the Northern cities and you only could get them if you would travel North or if someone would bring you as a souvenirs.
Because of the high humidity, Kolouche would always stay soft even after opening the box, however this isn’t the case when you open a box of Kolouche in Tehran or Kerman. They have to be kept in an airtight container otherwise they get dry quickly.
Kolouche has a special aluminum stamp, however when I was in Iran, I could only find the plastic ones which work the same. I was able to bring a few stamps with me, so if you’re interested in making Kolouche grab a stamp now that they’re available.
I originally made this recipe with mom in Kerman & you can watch all the process in my highlights on my Instagram page.
Yield: 8 large pieces
Ingredients for the dough:
1 cup milk, divided, room temperature
1/2 tsp yeast
Ingredients for the filling:
4 tbsps flour
4 tbsps sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsps cinnamon
100g crushed walnuts (optional)
Ingredients for the egg-wash:
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp milk
Add the yeast to half cup of milk and wait a few minutes until the yeast is activated
Place the flour in the medium size bowl, add the softened butter, use a fork or a pastry blender to mix the butter with the flour for about five minutes.
Add the milk slowly and mix with your hands until you have a soft dough, you might have some extra milk.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and keep for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing the butter with sugar first until it’s creamy, then add the flour, spices, and walnut powder.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F
Once the dough is risen, dust your working surface, take a piece of dough as big as a tennis ball about 50g and open the dough to an inch thick, place a full spoon of the fillings in the middle and bring the dough together and pinch the dough so there is no openings.
Place the Kolouche on your work surface and use the small rolling pin to widen it gently. Start rolling from the center to the top and bottom while rotating Kolouche, enough to make the Kolouche as large as the stamp.
Now, place the stamp in the center of your dough & press. Release the dough from the stamp and place on the baking tray.
Repeat until you’re done with the dough. Make an egg wash and brush the Kolouches. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven, place on the baking rack, and let cool.
Kolouche is best when it’s fresh. Once Kolouches are cold, keep them in an airtight container.
You can also freeze them for up to 10 days. Hope you enjoy these soft & buttery pastries.
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