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.

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Katah (Gata) with Filling

An Armenian pastry with a sweet filling
Course Dessert

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Dough

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast 2 ¼ 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.

View Comments

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!!!

  • 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?

  • 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

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