Recipe: Tahinov hats (Armenian tahini spirals), two ways
A subscriber exclusive
I know I said I’d be back from my Maine getaway on Monday, but I tweaked my back recently and have been a little slow to get back into things here, sorry about that. I set aside what I’d planned to share this week and instead am going to share my tahinov hats recipe for paid subscribers instead.
Tahinov hats is a bread that is beloved among Armenians worldwide. Similar breads are made in Turkey (from where most diasporic Armenians emigrated in the early 20th century, for reasons), but as far as I know, Armenians are the only ones who make it las a crisp, rolled-out disk, rather than a proofed bun. The bun version is more of a pastry, meant to be eaten soon after baking, while the rolled version, baked immediately after shaping, keeps its crisp texture for a long time (it’s sometimes called a “cookie” in recipes for this reason).
Tahinov hats made by rolling out a lean dough into a sheet, covering it with tahini and sugar (and sometimes warm spices like cinnamon), and rolling it up like a carpet. The rope is then rolled and stretched out into longer, thinner ropes, which are spiraled and then flattened out under a rolling pin. It’s a slightly messy process (though one that gets less messy with practice), but is easy to pull off, and very forgiving.
This video is a wonderful introduction to tahinov hats and its importance to Armenians, and includes footage shot in a in Bourj Hammoud, the Armenian district in Beirut famous for its bakeries:
The video even includes a solid recipe for the bread, for those of you who don’t have a Wordloaf subscription. My recipe is slightly refined in technique and results, and also includes instructions for proofing the spirals into Turkish-style buns instead of cookies. (The recipe makes 6 pieces total, of whichever kind.)