Tahinli (Armenian rolls with sesame paste and honey)

Happy Saturday! As I write this, I have a banana bread that I took out of the oven and of course had two slices..that’s right..I did not listen to the voice of reason telling me not to bake..the voice was persistent but so was I..I convinced it that I was actually going to make something healthy. It was a short quarrel but I was drained and felt victorious. So I did what I had to do, I happily retreated to the kitchen 🙂

After New Year, I came across this recipe for Armenian rolls with Tahini (sesame paste) and honey. There is a different version of this I grew up with. It is round but flatter and crispy and is filled with Tahini and sugar. I love those but have to stay away because I’ll eat 5 in one sitting! I want to point out that the rolls in the picture in the recipe look crumbly and the texture is different. The rolls I made were soft. Don’t ask me why..I followed the recipe. I made these again with my mom in her apartment and the dough was softer, smoother and rose beautifully, even though it is not supposed to rise like bread dough. I don’t know whether it was the temperature in the apartment, that my mom mixed it longer or magic but I will make these again and hope they turn out like my mama’s did. We also added more honey and of course they tasted better 🙂 The dough is great and you can put just about anything in it, savory or sweet.

Ingredients for Armenian tahini rolls
All you need for the dough is 3 1/2 cups of white all purpose flour, (sifted) 1 cup milk (I used whole). It works just as well with 2%. 2 1/4 tsp of yeast, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 1 egg (beaten).
Flour and yeast
In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Give it a mix with the paddle attachment. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Egg and oil combibed
Grab a small bowl and combine the beaten egg and oil with a whisk.
dough
Warm up the milk a little (not boiling or hot) and add it to the flour mixture. Add the egg mixture and beat until well combined. 
dough
The dough should be smooth and elastic but not sticky. Cover with towels or plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. It is not supposed to rise like bread dough.
dough balls
After 30 minutes, divide the dough into 12 balls and let rest again for 20 minutes. I placed them on a baking tray and covered it with a towel.
tahini and honey
For the filling you will need 1 cup of tahini and 1/2 cup of honey. Note that the end result is a slightly sweet roll. If you want it sweeter, add more honey. You may end up with a bit of filling left. What do you do? Don’t panic or throw it away. Get some bread and slather it on.
Tahini and honey
Combine the honey and tahini and watch it turn into something wonderful 🙂 Now you can start making the rolls.
dough rolled out
Roll the ball out pretty thin and try to make it as circular as you can.
dough and filling
Spread the glorious filling on the rolled out dough. The recipe says to spread a thin layer. Did I listen? No. Now you will make it into a sorta pinwheel.
filled dough
Pick up the 2 sides of the circle and start rolling the dough. Don’t worry if some tahini comes out. Now take one end and start rolling it to the other end. Grab the opposite end and push it down into the center. Sorry but I’m not great at explaining..oops.
rolled up dough
See, like so. It’s fun 🙂 Give it a push down on top with your fingers or rolling pin.
shaped dough
Not bad I say, not bad.
rolls
Lightly beat an egg and brush the tops.
dough with seeds
Sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fairy dust or what have you. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until slightly browned.
baked rolls
How good do these look!
Armenian rolls
Do not, I repeat, do not wait for them to cool. Obviously don’t burn your mouth but you want to eat these while they are still warm.
Tahinli
These were the ones I made at home. Let’s compare with the ones my mama I made at her apartment.
Mom's Tahinli
See–they look chubbier and  browner. She may have very well sprinkled some fairy dust when I wasn’t looking 🙂

Recipe taken from FOOD52

Makes 12

For Dough :

  • 3.5cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2.25teaspoons yeast
  • 1/3cup olive oil
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1egg, beaten
For filling and glaze:

  • 1cup tahini paste
  • 1/2cup honey
  • 1egg
  • 1tablespoon sesame seeds
  1. Pre heat oven to 325F. Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a bowl. In a small bowl combine egg and oil. Warm up the milk. Add the milk to the flour mixture, then add in the egg mixture to make a smooth, elastic and not sticky dough. If sticky add more flour.
  2. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. The dough won’t rise like other bread doughs, so don’t worry.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, cover and let them sit for around 20 minutes.
  4. Roll one ball of dough out to a very wide thin circle. Spread a thin layer of the tahini mixture. Starting at the longest edge, roll up the dough into a rope. Holding one end of the rope, start folding up so it makes a coiled bun. Gently flatten the bun with the rolling pin or with your hand. Place on a greased or lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Brush the rolls with the beaten egg, then sprinkle a few sesame seeds over top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until light brown. Enjoy. Keep them in air tight containers. They taste good by themselves or smear them with butter.

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