Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ay Coregi

Ay coregi is a Turkish patisserie staple for a good reason. Whatever is on hand can go in the filling, and oddly enough, the filling is the best part. I used to love these cresent-shaped sweet breads, but since I found out that they are the patisseries' way of recycling otherwise unsellable products, I lost my appetite for them. Recently, a reader of my Turkish blog requested a recipe for ay coregi. I could not offer her one right away, but when I chanced on a Pan Dulce (Mexican sweet bread) recipe a few days ago, I thought that it could be adapted to make ay coregi.

In my opinion, a good ay coregi has to have a lot of filling and just enough yeast dough encasing it. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the only reason that the yeast dough is there is to keep the delicious filling together. Unfortunately, in my version the yeast dough rose quite a bit, and my crescents turned out to be huge with a low filling to yeast dough ratio. Not acceptable for an ay coregi aficionado like me! (On the other hand, my husband thought that they were better than ay coregi.) I understand that pan dulce is not usually made into crescents, so I shaped the second half of my dough differently, just for fun. Although the result was not exactly what I hoped for, this is a good yeast recipe. It needs some more work, but I think that I can get very close to ay coregi with it. The recipe below is adapted from Sunset's Easy Basics for International Cooking (my very first cookbook).

  • 6 tbs cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tbs milk
  • Filling (recipe given below)
Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan. Heat until quite warm (120-130F). It is OK if the butter is not completely melted. In a large bowl, combine yeast, salt, sugar and 2 c of the flour. Add the milk mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, then another cup of flour. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Now reduce speed to low; and as you mix, add enough flour (1 to 1 1/2 c) gradually to make a stiff dough. Turn it onto a floured surface and knead until smooth for 5 to 10 minutes. Add flour as necessary. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hr.) Meanwhile prepare the filling.

At the end of the rising period, punch the dough down. Turn it out to a floured surface and shape it into a long log. Cut the log to 14 equal pieces; shape each into a smooth ball. Then roll each into an oblong shape. Shape the filling into log and place it in the center of the yeast dough. Wrap the dough around the filling; seal the ends of dough. Shape it into a crescent by pulling the ends together. If you want a different shape, roll dough into an oval, top with about 3 tbs of filling and roll the dough from one end to the other. Seal the ends and cut slits on the log you just made with a sharp knife. Put your buns on 2 greased pans, cover with towels and let rest for 1/2 hour. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbs milk and brush on the buns. Bake at a preheated 375F oven until nicely browned.

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 4 tbs cocoa powder
  • 7 tbs cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbs currants
  • 6 tbs ground walnuts
  • Cinnamon (if desired)
Mix sugar, flour and cocoa powder. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or rub between the fingers until fine crumbs form. Add the egg yolks and stir until blended. Finally add the currants and nuts. Stir well.