Mahdzoon Bread (Armenian Yogurt Bread)

I am not much of a yogurt fan.  I don’t eat it straight up, not with berries, and even the new trendy Greek Yogurt doesn’t particularly appeal to me.  I do, however, like it as an ingredient in other dishes.  It just so happens that I had a big ol’ vat of plain yogurt in my fridge that was going to go bad if I didn’t use it soon, so I did a web search for a new and interesting recipe that would utilize this yogurt and wouldn’t require me to go to the store for anything else.  (er….that’s why mine doesn’t have sesame seeds.)

I stumbled upon this recipe for “Mahdzoon Bread” from Armenia.  It’s so “new and interesting” that, in fact, I could only find one single vague recipe for it.  In other words, when I couldn’t quite figure out what the instructions were asking me to do, I had no other source to go to for clarity.  As such, the following recipe has been adapted by yours truly.  In the end, I discovered that my individual portions were far too big – not only did I misjudge size, but the twists grew more than I expected in the oven.  But, the intent is that each person will get their own twist, just as each person would get their own dinner roll. 

Speaking of dinner rolls these would serve as a perfectly good substitution.  They aren’t as light and flaky, but the flavor is neutral enough that they will compliment almost any dish.

Mahdzoon Bread (Armenian Yogurt Bread)

1/2 c warm water
2  packets of dry active yeast (1/4 oz each)
1 c mahdzoon (plain yogurt), room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
1 c melted butter, cooled
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3+ c flour
1 egg
1/2 c sesame seeds (optional)

  • dissolve yeast, sugar, and salt in warm water, then add the mahdzoon and mix well
  • Beat melted butter, baking soda, and baking powder together and add to the mahdzoon mixture
  • Stir in flour, starting with 3 c and add more as needed to create a doughy consistency (I needed 5 c), kneading for 5 minutes
  • cover and let rest for 10 minutes
  • make a small ball and roll into a rope approximately 6 inches long and 3/4 inch diameter, braid or twist into a single serving size and pinch ends to close.  Repeat until all dough is used.
  • Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, let rise for 15 minutes, and brush with egg wash of 1 egg and 1/3 cup water
  • sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional), and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven

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