Katah (Gata) with Filling

A request came from Azam for filled katah (gata). His description was a bit vague, but I managed to find a recipe in my copy of the St. John Armenian Church (Michigan) cookbook, “Armenian Cuisine- Preserving Our Heritage”. The recipe was submitted by Nancy Kazarian and Dolly Matoian noting that this version came from a Russian-Armenian katah recipe.

I sent it to Azam. He wrote back saying:
“This does sound familiar, especially the filling. I am not an expert in baking but I do manage my way with flour and sugar. I bake non-bread-like pastries better since I am terrible at kneading the dough… I will give this a try this weekend and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for looking this up for me.”

I’m hoping Azam will try making this because only he will know if this is truly the taste he’s after.

Katah (Gata) with Filling

An Armenian pastry with a sweet filling
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the Dough

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 ½ tsp.)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) (melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (Do not use thick, Greek-style yogurt)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt

Filling (Khoriz) Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1/2 cup butter= 1 stick; melted)
  • 1 cup sugar

Egg Wash:

  • 2 whole eggs (beaten. OR – 2 egg yolks, beaten)

Instructions
 

  • Preparing the Dough:
  • In a small measuring cup, dissolve yeast over warm water (110 – 115°F) and whisk in sugar and flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise.
  • Meanwhile, beat butter in bowl of a mixer. Add eggs, beating until well-blended. Add sour cream (or yogurt), softened yeast and salt. Mix in flour a little at a time in small amounts only until you have a soft dough.
  • Knead by hand or mixer until smooth and soft. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 or 2 hours.

Filling Directions:

  • Toast the flour in a sauté pan over low heat, stirring until it very slightly changes color. Add melted butter and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • Place in a small bowl, mixing to incorporate. Cool slightly and divide onto 4 pieces of waxed paper.

Katah (Gata) Preparation:

  • Divide the risen dough into 4 equal-sized balls and cover with plastic wrap on a work surface. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to about ¼ inch thick rectangle, about 7” x 10”.
  • Spread with one of the four reserved fillings. Roll up lengthwise as you would a jelly roll.
  • Cut into 2” to 3” lengths; place on parchment paper-lined tray with seam on the bottom.
  • Cover tray with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Baking the Katah (Gata):

  • Brush tops with egg wash and place in a preheated 375°F oven for about 10 minutes. 
  • Turn tray, reduce heat to 350°F and bake another 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

NOTE: Katahs keep well in an airtight container, or can be frozen.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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16 Comments

  1. Siri July 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Hi! I'm starting a project where I am cooking national dishes from all over the world. A search brought me here, and if I could ask, what would you say is the armenian national dish? thanks in advance! You have so many interesting recepies here, cant wait to try some!

    Reply
  2. Robyn July 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Siri,
    What an interesting project; good luck with it!
    Many Armenians will say that Armenia's national dish is Herriseh (Harrisa) aka Keshkeg. Her national bread, lavash. Click on these recipe names on the right to read the stories and get our recipes. If you have further questions, please email me:
    robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com
    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. azi November 29, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply
  4. azi November 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    🙁 is not as same as i had in Iran in Armenian zone

    Reply
  5. Sonia February 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I would like to add, that in enthology, there is a nice explanation for the word GATA. the french word "gateau" had come from the armenian GATA, then english word "cake" has been created from french "gateau".thank you!!!

    Reply
  6. CnySahd February 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    this is a different Katah then what my armenian father in law taught me to make when I married into the family. Our katah is a pinwheel shaped very flaky rolled up type bread. fillings were nuts and sugars , cottage cheese or ricotta cheese & parsley or just plain with butter. it is a 4th generation recipe. were the recipes different by regions?

    Reply
    1. Robyn February 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Definitely! Recipes, spellings, and pronunciations varied – sometimes greatly – from region to region.

      Reply
    2. Unknown March 24, 2020 at 11:50 pm

      I've heard that every town and area has its own version.

      Reply
  7. Anonymous March 16, 2012 at 11:38 am

    tank you for the recipe. it was very nice of you to find it so quickly for me.azam

    Reply
    1. Robyn March 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Azam! Did you ever try to make the recipe?

      Reply
  8. Anonymous March 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Hi soon

    Reply
  9. Anonymous March 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Hi I made it and its very delicious.
    tanks again .azam

    Reply
  10. Unknown May 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I had been trying to learn how to make this since I first found them in Moscow. However, the ones that we would buy had a walnut filling, which was similar to something that my husband (who is from Ossetia) remembered his mother making. I made the dough according to your recipe and winged the walnut filling, and posted the process and results on my blog (giving you due credit for the dough, of course!) Thanks again!

    http://cookingbysight.blogspot.com/2012/05/gata-with-walnut-filling.html

    Reply
  11. Anonymous August 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    If we are Russian-Armenian does that make those born in Turkey Turkish Armenian? I see you have lots of Turkish Armenian recepies as well. I'm born in Armenia and that does not make me Russian Armenian but pure Armenian. So I kindly ask that review your comments about gat or kata and simply say its Armenian kata. Thank you!

    Reply
  12. mystere's moonbat slayer club April 1, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    I was doing some searches on line to see if I could find some recipes for Kata bread and came across your sight. Has anyone ever used figs in Kata bread? I have a black mission fig tree, and it bears plenty of figs, so I thought I'd try to make some Kata using figs for a fruit filling. I also have some friends who have Celiac disease, so I plan to use some gluten free flours. I have tapioca flour, but I was wondering what is the best gluten free flour to use to make these treats close to the original wheat flour recipe texture wise? I also have buckwheat flour and rice flour on hand for buckwheat pancakes and Japanese cuisine, both are gluten free, and I've seen them used in gluten free recipes as well. I came across Kata bread with apricot filling at an Orange County California mom and pop type grocery store and have been hooked ever since. Their pastry supplier is Lord's Bakery in Glendale California.

    "Mr. E"
    Orange County California

    Reply
    1. Robyn Kalajian April 3, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Dear "Mr.E", I don't see why you couldn't use a fig preserve filling; I'll bet it would be delicious!
      I found a recipe for fig preserves on the Williams-Sonoma site, in case you're interested:
      Fig Preserves
      Ingredients:
      3 lb. figs, such as Mission, Adriatic or Brown Turkey
      4 cups sugar
      1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
      3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
      Grated zest of 1 orange
      Directions:
      Have ready 5 hot, sterilized half-pint jars and their lids.
      Trim the fig stems, leaving a little of the stem attached to each fig. In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine the sugar, orange juice and lemon juices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl. Add the orange zest to the syrup and cook, uncovered, until reduced by one-third, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the figs to the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through.
      Using the slotted spoon, divide the hot figs evenly among the jars. Ladle the syrup over the figs, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
      Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 5 half-pint jars.
      Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).

      I haven't used gluten free flour often enough to give you the feedback you require, but information regarding gluten free flour can be found here:
      http://glutenfreemommy.com/gluten-free-grains-101-the-best-flour-blend/
      Good luck!

      Reply

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