Choreg Bread for Leo, a dying friend.
My friend Leo died earlier this year. He was pretty sick towards the end.
Leo loved Choreg, a sort of Armenian holiday bread his mother used to make.
To try to cheer him up a bit I found a recipe on the web and made up a loaf for him, the first time I'd ever made Choreg.
The recipe I used was this one: http://www.food.com/recipe/armenian-easter-bread-198715
I found the nigella seeds and mahleb on Amazon although I actually used some mahleb I bought at a middle-eastern specialty market here in town.
I followed the recipe as closely as I could although I made one large braided loaf in stead of two smaller loaves as instructed. Because of the high butter content or for other reasons the strands didn't adhere to each other the way I'm used to.
The bread rose well and I baked it in a steamed oven, getting a beautiful braided lof that was easier to pull apart than to slice. The mahleb gave the bread a delightful cherry-like aroma which filled the house when I baked the loaf, and later the car when I took it over to Leo's house.
Everyone who tried the bread said it was lovely. The crust was particularly light and nice, and the crumb was soft and delectable. I was not fond of nigella seeds when I used them before and had actually thrown out my stash, but the nigella I got from Amazon in the proportion the recipe called for added a nice crunch without overpowering.
Here are links to the ingredients I bought on Amazon: nigella seeds (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GHFRYG) and mahleb (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GHJKAS) . They both seemed to be of good quality.
Leo was one of my professors when I studied engineering many years ago. Over the years I've attended many parties in his home and he's been a frequent visitor in mine. He was sorely missed at thanksgiving this year.