The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Armenian sweet bread (Gata) Recipe HELP

travishdc's picture

Armenian sweet bread (Gata) Recipe HELP

So this is my first post.  I am happy to say that I have found this site a great resource and I am hoping someone might be able to help me out with a recipe.  I used to live in California a long time ago in a comminuty that had a large number of Armenian Bakeries.  They would sell this sweet bread that was amazing.  I finally tracked down the name of it, it is called Gata.  I have looked all over the internet and in cookbooks but with no luck on tracking down a recipe.  There are a number of recipes for a pastry that while close is not the bread.  It seems that there are only a few places where you can buy it from and they are in California and I am on the East Coast now which creates a problem.  Again I am hoping someone might be able to help out here.

zolablue's picture

Is this what you had in mind?  I've never heard of it but sure looks good!



DebT's picture

I too am looking for this bread or how to make it. My mother used to bake this. My father was from Iran and mother was American. They are both gone now and I have no receipe. The bread my mother made was filled with a very rich buttery center. It was thick and rich. She rolled the dough out in a round and then placed the buttery filling on one side of the dough. She then folded the dough over and crimped the edges. I think she brushed the top with egg or milk to make it shine. When done it was served with tea. I would love to find this bread or learn how to make it. It was excellent and brings back yummy memories! PLEASE HELP! :o)

motherbev's picture

My daughter just sent me this recipe: Sorry, I don't know who should get credit)

Choereg, Armenian Easter Bread

1 cup whole milk

1 cup unsalted better

1 cup margarine

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 tsps white sugar

2 (.25 oz) envelopes active dry yeast

5 eggs

6 cups all-purpose flour, as needed

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1 1/2 tbs ground mahleb (do not omit, as this gives distinctive flavor and aroma)

1 1/2 tsps salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tbs sesame seeds

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, butter and margarine. Heat until butter and margarine are melted, but do not let it boil. Stir in 1 cup of sugar until dissolved, then set aside to cool to lukewarm

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve 2 tsps of sugar in warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and stir a little to break up the yolks. Slowly pour in the heated milk mixture while whisking constantly, so as to temper the eggs and not cook them. Add the yeast mixture and stir just until blended.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, mahleb, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the wet mixture. Stir until it forms a sticky dough, Pour onto a floured surface, and knead in additional flour as needed to make a more substantial dough. Knead for about 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, and set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled, punch down again, and let rise until doubled. It will take about half as long this time.

Separate the dough into 5 even portions, then separate each of those into thirds. Roll each of those into ropes about 12 inches long. Braid sets of three ropes together, pinching the ends to seal, and tucking them under for a better presentation. Place the loaves onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Loaves should be spaced 4 inches apart. Set in a warm place to rise until your finger leaves an impression behind when you poke the loaf genly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the loaves with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until nicely golden brown all over.



mgins's picture

For greek and orthodox easter we have tsoureki which is a sweet bread plus at christmas and other holidays, it's also called vasilopita heres a recipe for vasilopita This bread made fresh is the best with honey or dipping in milk.

-- online loan

RFMonaco's picture

Don't be eating too much of the Mahlep spice if you're on anti-coagulants. Mahlep used in the recipe for this bread, and others, is the source of Coumarin, a potent blood thinner.

Paddyscake's picture

not coumarin. Not being picky, just wanted people who are on Coumadin to be aware.

RFMonaco's picture

Likewise, not being picky but they're directly related.

Warfarin (also known under the brand names of Coumadin®, Jantoven®, Marevan®, and Waran®) is an anticoagulant medication that is administered orally or, very rarely, by injection. It is used for the prophylaxis of thrombosis and embolism in many disorders. Its activity has to be monitored by frequent blood testing for the international normalized ratio (INR). It is named for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Warfarin is a synthetic derivative of coumarin, a chemical found naturally in many plants, notably woodruff (Galium odoratum, Rubiaceae), and at lower levels in licorice, lavender and various other species. Warfarin was originally developed as a rat poison, but it is no longer used for that purpose as modern poisons are much more potent and toxic (e.g. brodifacoum). However, warfarin and contemporary rodenticides belong to the same class of drugs (coumarins) and both decrease blood coagulation by interfering with vitamin K metabolism. For this reason, drugs in this class are also referred to as vitamin K antagonists. [1]

Paddyscake's picture

always great to learn..appreciate your info!

heartily's picture

However, warfarin and contemporary rodenticides belong to the same class of drugs (coumarins) and both decrease blood coagulation by interfering with vitamin K metabolism. For this reason, drugs in this class are also referred to as vitamin K antagonists.

Oh really, I'm just wondering about the health risk of this warfarin, can you list it down for me please?

Crew Mantle's picture
Crew Mantle

I am eating Gata as I write this. Interestingly I picked it up at a local Persian grocery (it's a little stale btw). Because of that fact I determined to make the bread myself. As a retired chef, this sort of thing comes easily to me. This type of sweet bread is common to the Middle East, with regions doing a variation on the same theme. The key is that these sweet breads are most often "Easter" breads. Therein lies the necessary part of your internet search. Further, Iranian and Armenian cuisines are extraordinarily linked much the same as say, Lebanese and Syrian.

The ingredient list on the back of the wrap flavours with vanilla, while Iranian and Armenian require a spice called Mahleb... I found this recipe which embodies the egg rich sweet bread that may end your search.


All the best, and play around with it a bit. Halve it if you have a breadmaker and do it the easy way.


travishdc's picture

So I realized that I had forgotten to give examples as to what I was looking for: 

It is exactly as DebT described.  With a light crumb, chewy crust that is sweet, and a creamy vinalla filling. You can see that in the photo on the last link.

I am going to try out your recipe Crew Mantle but I am affraid it won't be the same without the filling.

Thanks for all the help so far! 

EsmereldaPea's picture

Perhaps you can take the recipes and combine them.

I'll paste the link first and then the text of the recipe:

Source: ‘Hamaink’, March 2006, a newsletter published by the Armenian Community & Church Council of Great Britain

Wednesday, 22nd of March in the Armenian Church Calendar is Michink or Mid Lenten Day. Our Editorial Committee member, Matilda Megerdichian, informs us that a common way to mark the occasion from a culinary point of view is to prepare a festive meal to be shared with family and friends. A touch of fun is added to the occasion by cutting and dividing the freshly baked gata to discover who gets the coin that was placed in it before baking, which is viewed as a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the year ahead. Here is a recipe for gata, which you may enjoy with or without the symbolical coin. Anoush!




4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups milk

1 packet dried yeast

1 cup butter

pinch of salt

1 egg (for brushing the gata)


Filling or Koritz:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

1 coin for each gata (wrapped in foil)

If desired, add:

1/4 cup chopped nuts, 1/4 cup sugar,

cinnamon to taste


Soften yeast in one cup of milk, melt the sugar in the other cup of milk, then combine the two. Add melted butter, savingtwo tablespoons to use for brushing the dough. Gradually add the flour and salt to the liquid and when all of it is absorbed, knead well. It should be a soft dough. Cover and let it rise (takes two to three hours).

When dough has doubled in size, divide it in to six portions. Take one portion at a time and roll out to thickness of 1/4" or a bit less. Brush the entire open dough with melted butter, then fold the dough to a square 5"x5". Divide the Koritz into six portions as well and place one portion in the centre of this square, now hide the coin in the Koritz and bring over opposite corners of the square to cover the Koritz. Then roll out the dough to the size of a small pie, brush with eggs, and design the gata with a fork or some other gadget. Let this rise again for 15 minutes, then bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) until browned (about 1/2 hour).



Melt the butter and blend in the cup of flour, on very low flame, keep stirring until the flour and butter are well blended and the colour of the koritz is pink. If you are going to add the other ingredients, do it after you take the mixture off the heat.

travishdc's picture

Thanks EsmereldaPea I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes.

sandyrock's picture

The gata (pronounced "katta") we buy from is so delicious I can't even tell you. I'll see if they'll give me the recipe. Theirs has a vanilla/orange filling that is out of this world. 

heartily's picture

Hmm thanks for sharing. I usually buy some stuffs including supplements here they have a lot of cool stuffs.

Meadowblooms's picture

Thank you, I used to live in LA atoo, and I was just out today, trying to find that bread now that I live in New York.

Magdalena Microchip's picture
Magdalena Microchip

I found this site because I also am missing my Gata.  However, I never knew that it was baked with a blood thinner.  I think that an Armenian bakery was the one who made it.  I am thinking that I will ask a bakery I used to buy it from if they will ship some to me here in AZ.  I moved here from Burbank last June and have not located any gata here.  While I was living in Burbank, I lived across from a little Armenian grocery that I used to buy my milk, butter, eggs and various other items from.  I discovered some of their foods that were quite tasty also.  So, along with my gata I want, I am also going to look for something called "Ikra" that is made in Russian style that I put on a slab of fresh bread.  The ikra is eggplant, onion, red peppers, garlic and oil.  The manufacturer is a company called Zergut.  Below is the bakery who makes the best Gata I ever found.  The gata is made from a pie dough kind of flour that is layered and very sweet.  I used to put some cherry jam on it and have that with my coffee.  I am going to email this store and see if they ship out of state.  Bon appetit Foodies. 

Movses Pastry
1755 W. Glenoaks Blvd.
Glendale, California
Tel: (818) 545-0099 Fax: (818) 545-0736

We look forward to serving you.

angelhex35's picture

This one looks very similar to what my grandma used to make for Easter in Armenia:


tammy shahinian olszewski's picture
tammy shahinian...

I tried looking in my Armenian cookbook, but it's not there.  Have you tried contacting one of the Armenian churches in your area.  Please note some of the older Armenian woman refuse to give out their receipes:(  I think I have had what you are talking about, but couldn't get the receipe.  I will ask around and if I can find anyone who know's I will pass on.  Unfortunately, most of my Armenian relatives have passed on. 


Mrs. Tammy S. Olszewski

knegoshian's picture

My family called their sweetbread kurinja. They were small rolls either braided or diamond shaped or rectangles. Sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. My friends all love them... better than bagels. All my great aunts and grandparents died but my aunt has the recipe and could get rich if she opened up a shop.

I want everyone to enjoy these as much as I do. I dont think the recipe should die with my family so here it is. ENJOY!! 

9 cups Flour 1 cup Butter 1 cup Milk 4 Eggs 1-3/4 cup Sugar 1 teaspoon Baking Powder 1 pkg Yeast 1/4 cup Warm Water     Dissolve yeast in 1/4 warm water, let sit till almost double in size.  Melt butter. In Large bowl,flour, sugar and baking powder.  Stir until all mixed, form a well. Mix eggs with milk, add butter, then yeast mixture.   Pour liquid ingredients in middle of flour mixture.    Mix with hands (make sure your hands are washed and CLEAN)  knead with hand.  After its all mixed, take out of bowl onto CLEAN area, knead for 15 minutes (if dough is sticky add flour).   Place in bowl cover and put in warm area.  You can wrap in blankets, and keep out of drafts.   Let rise overnight.  Check dough, it should double in size.  roll out dough, cut in what ever shape you want.   Place shapes on cookie sheet, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds over top.   Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.....   Enjoy ..................warm with butter....  
Gracectscott's picture


We used to live in Glendale, so I know what you're talking about.  Took me years to find a recipe as well.  However, I use one that's from "New Food of Life" written by Najimeh Batmanglij.  She calls it "Armenian Christmas pastry".  The book is also full of lovely Persian recipes.

I usually prepare my dough the night before, and then I set it out on the counter for about an hour to warm up.

Check out:,

or Google "Armenian Christmas pastry" in case I typed the url incorrectly.

Have fun!





anapat8's picture

I used to have a great recipe for gata bread. I got it out of a book called The Compleate Armenian Cookbook by Alice Bezjian. They had a shop called Bezjians on Santa Monica near Western in LA, but they went out business about 20 years ago. I think it was a vanity press printing, so I don't think it will be easy to find. I lost my copy in one of moves.