Armenian Tahini Bread
This sweet yeast bread is flaky yet chewy, with aromas of sesame and cinnamon.
Yield: makes 12
- 1 (7-gram) package active dry yeast
- 3 cups plus 1 tsp. sugar
- 5 cups flour
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Stir together yeast, 1 tsp. of the sugar, and 1⁄2 cup warm water in a small bowl; set aside to let rest until frothy, 8-10 minutes. Stir together flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, 2 tbsp. of the oil, and 1 cup water; stir into a rough dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Nestle dough into a large bowl greased with remaining 1 tbsp. oil. Cover with plastic wrap; let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Divide dough into 2 balls, cover with a towel, and let rest for 10 minutes. Working on a lightly floured surface with 1 ball at a time, roll dough out into a 25" circle (keep remaining dough covered). Gently spread half the tahini evenly over the dough and sprinkle with 1 1⁄2 cups of the sugar. Make a 1" hole in center of circle and begin rolling and stretching inner lip of dough hole toward outward edge of dough to create a large, rolled-up "doughnut". Cut doughnut into 6 equal ropes. Tightly coil each rope so that it resembles a cinnamon roll, then flatten each with your hand into a dough round on a lightly floured surface. Roll out each round into a 7" circle, then transfer the circles to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, keeping them spaced apart. Let rest while you repeat the process with the remaining dough. Mist each round of dough generously with water and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.