Armenian brioche with date (Chorak)

June 17, 2011  •  Category: ,


These could be found at Middle-Eastern stores  in a plastic bag, imported from an Armenian bakery in California; I used to buy them, all the while lamenting that they did not taste fresh.

Instead of commiserating, I decided to make them; at least now they can be frozen and reheated any old morning at a moment’s notice.

INGREDIENTS: 30 large rolls (60 if smaller)

  • 600 g. unbleached flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of warm water to proof the yeast
  • 2/3 cup of fresh orange juice
  • Unsalted butter, melted (40 g.)
  • 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Sugar 100 g.
  • Rind of 3 large oranges (40 g.)
  • 1 teaspoon of mahlab
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with a teaspoon of water to give the pastries shine
  • 1 package of date paste (13 ounces)
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water
  • 1/3 cup of toasted sesame seeds


NOTE: This dough can be divided in half and one half can be frozen and used with a different filling (I have made rolls with chocolate chips with the other half).

  1. Proof the yeast by stirring it in the bowl of warm water with sugar. Set the bowl aside to bubble and finish preparing the rest of the ingredients. Place the flour, sugar, mahlab, orange rind and salt in the bowl of a mixer or food processor. Mix until combined and add the melted butter and oil; mix until the flour is dampened throughout. Add the bubbled yeast, eggs and orange juice and mix until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface sprinkled with flour and knead a few seconds until a nice shiny ball forms. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise for an hour or two. Prepare the date paste by mixing it with butter and a touch of orange blossom water until shiny and smooth. Set aside in a bowl.
  3. Divide the dough in half, keeping one half to the side (you may end up freezing it and using it later). Cut the remaining ball of dough in small balls 4 inches across and roll out into a long ribbon; make it as small as possible if you want small pastries, or larger depending on your taste. Place a ribbon of date paste in the middle, enclose the dough and roll it out a bit to pinch the seams well. Brush with a beaten egg yolk ad sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut the rope into one inch pieces and  bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a preheated 350F oven for 15 or 20 minutes or  until the pastries are crisp and golden; cool and serve; store in the fridge for several days in a tight box or in the freezer for weeks.


28 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Barbara says:

    I’m not much of a date lover, but I sure can think of other fruits to stuff these divine rolls with, Joumana. They look like a gorgeous mouthful!

  2. Devaki says:

    You go Joumana – So great that you made these so you can enjoy them at a moment’s notice rather than crave them only to be disappointed. Your brioche is glistening and these perfectly baked delights with dates have my name written all over them 🙂

    You rock! 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. deana says:

    So, these are like date-newtons??? Love the orange addition… I can see how these would be terribly addictive. I am so partial to things I can pop into the freezer and take out one at a time for a delicious snack.

  4. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Little bit of happiness hidden right there!

  5. Sonia says:

    Wow, this look cute and good. Bookmarked ! But I think I need to replace date paste with chocolate paste as per kids preference. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Angie's Recipes says:

    I love the date filling! Those petite treasures look so lovely and delicious!

  7. wizzythestick says:

    These look perfect and highly addictive.

  8. Chiara says:

    look gorgeous Joumana! I love the orange addition! have a lovely weekend…

  9. Angel of the North says:

    You are one skilful lady. I’ve just got Sonia uvezian’s book on Armenian food, but it has no pics and is nowhere near as interesting as her book of middle eastern food. I really look forward to your postings.

  10. My Carolina Kitchen says:

    These are so pretty. How nice that you can now bake your own and freeze them. You’re very clever.

  11. meriem says:

    Superbe!!! J’adore la brioche arménienne et ta version me plâit beaucoup!!

  12. Banana Wonder says:

    Hahaha I have totally bought these at Armenian stores in Southern California! So you used to live in So Cal as well? I lived in Los Feliz and would shop at the big Armenian grocery store in Glendale. And go to Taron Bakery on Hollywood Blvd. Love this recipe of yours – I bet these are amazing home made.

  13. Lyndsey says:

    What a special little treat this would make. I would love to try these, my mom is the one who got me liking dates (she made everything with dates). I’m a little hesitant because I am not a good baker! Yours look perfect!

  14. Caffettiera says:

    Beautiful! I never saw them even in their stale variety. A good reason to try them then.

  15. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    I find dates simply irresistible! This sounds so good!

  16. Nadji says:

    Ça doit être vraiment délicieux.
    J’en mangerai avec grand plaisir.
    A très bientôt.

  17. T.W. Barritt says:

    Looks like a great afternoon coffee treat – and they can be frozen? Outstanding!

  18. Chris @ HyeThymeCafe says:

    Funny, I never thought to stuff my Choreg. The only “filled” version I’m familiar with is really the filling from a different bread – Nazook. I think it’s flour, sugar, butter, and vanilla. I never liked that growing up, but I should probably try it again now that I’m older. Your version made me think that it would probably be great with some sort of apricot filling! I’ll have to give that a try. I was having fun looking through all of your recipes. I’m half Armenian, so we have a lot of food in common. 🙂

  19. Tom @ Tall Clover says:

    Between this and the fig roll recipe, you’ve made me a very happy man!

  20. Magic of Spice says:

    These look fantastic! I am sure they are so much better fresh and you can really get creative with the choice of fillings. Wonderful 🙂

  21. Sawsan says:

    I always buy these and think I really should try making them st home..
    now I can with this amazing recipe of yours
    Thank you for sharing

  22. Citron says:

    Ooooh… I love dates. This looks so good. Brilliant!

  23. Tom says:

    Interesting… you never see these in modern-day Armenia itself. Probably because there aren’t any dates. I guess it must be something from the Syrian/Lebanese Armenians, which might explain why it now turns up in LA!

  24. Iris says:

    Hi, could I use self rising flour instead of plain and yeast? Thanks

    • Joumana says:

      @Iris: self-raising does not contain yeast; so you would need yeast otherwise you will not get a dough that has the texture of a bread, rather a cookie.

  25. Iris says:

    Dear Joumana, Thank you for your replied much appreciated. By the way great recepies.

  26. Nancy Yacoub says:

    What is Mahleb pls in English? I need to buh it for a reci6

    • Joumana says:

      @nancy: mahleb is mahleb; just look for it in Middle-eastern markets, or Greek or Turkish; or online; it is sold online at various large websites.

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