Thursday, November 5, 2015

Grandma Jennie's Choereg (Choreg) Recipe

Today Marash Girl will prepare Grandma Jennie’s Cheoreg for an AIWA event, and as you will not be able to sample it, here's the recipe that she's using so that you can make it for yourself.

Grandma Jennie's Armenian Cheoreg (Choereg)

Grandma Jennie’s Cheoreg

Dough preparation:
1 pkg dried yeast (place in 1/4 c. warm water with a bit of sugar)
1 c. milk
1 tsp. to 1 tbsp freshly ground mahlab (available at Armenian grocery stores) - Marash Girl uses 1 tbsp.
1/2 Tbsp black caraway seed optional - Sev Goondoug available at Armenian/Middle Eastern grocery stores.
1/3 c sugar or more
3 eggs, beaten
1 c butter, melted
5 c flour (Grandma Jennie used Gold Medal Flour; When Marash Girl tried it with King Arthur Flour, the product was not as soft.)
2 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten (to wipe on top of shaped cheoreg before dipping in sesame seed.)
Sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.  While oven is heating,
mix dough ingredients together with large heavy spoon. Dough should NOT be stiff, but rather fairly loose in order to achieve a soft choereg, the way Grandpa Peter liked it.  Set aside the dough to rise in a covered glass bowl, away from drafts.  When dough is doubled in size, punch down.  Take the equivalent of a half cup of dough, roll into 6 or 7 inch strip, circle strip around itself (snail-like) to make a circular roll.  
Place this roll in the palm of your hand, dip top of roll into egg mixture, then into flat dish in which you have placed sesame seeds. (This system gives a delicious thick layer of sesame seeds, not just sprinkles, and saves the trouble of brushing on the egg, then scattering on the sesame seeds.  It was Grandma Jennie's very own secret.) Place plain side of roll on greased baking tray, leaving room for choereg to rise (about 1 inch between rolls).  Dough will have risen enough by the time you finish shaping rolls to bake on greased tray in preheated oven for 15 minutes, but experience has taught that it is far better to let the dough rise overnight before shaping and baking!  ( NEXT TIME MARASH GIRL IS GOING TO TRY TO ADD MORE MILK TO MAKE A LOOSER DOUGH, WHICH SHOULD RESULT IN  A SOFTER CHEOREG. SHE'LL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT COMES OUT)

Whether or not Marash Girl has published recipe earlier, she is recording this recipe in memory of her mother, Jennie Vartanian Bilezikian who passed away the day before Thanksgiving many years ago, and remembering the family visits to her Uncle Joe (Grandma Yester's Brother Yusuf) & Auntie Mogie Bosnian (Ruthie and Didick's mom).  Auntie Mogie always welcomed us with choereg in her oven and baking when we arrived, ready to take out and serve us piping hot.


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