Delicious Armenian Bread Recipe for Your Next Meal

Indulge yourself in the aroma and taste of freshly baked bread with Mama Katah, an Armenian specialty that is sure to satisfy your cravings. The name “katah” may sound unfamiliar, but once you try it, you’ll understand why it’s a classic bread frequently baked in Armenian-American communities. Some even call it the “Armenian croissant” due to its buttery, layered texture.

As an Armenian chef, Mama Katah holds a special place in my heart and kitchen. It’s one of the many Armenian pastries that can be found in bakeries across Armenia and the diaspora. Making Mama Katah is a tradition that has been passed down through generations, often prepared during holidays or special occasions like Easter.

But you don’t need to wait for a specific day to enjoy this delicious bread. With simple ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, active dry yeast, and more, you can easily make Mama Katah at home. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a beginner, this recipe will provide detailed instructions to help you achieve perfect results every time.

So preheat your oven and let’s get started on making a dough that will transport your taste buds to Armenia!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mama's Katah - Armenian Bread
Mama’s Katah – Armenian Bread

This is no ordinary bread recipe. Mama’s Katah, also known as Armenian bread, is a classic bread frequently baked in Armenian-American communities. But let me tell you, this recipe is like no other.

The combination of sesame and nigella seeds on top of the egg-washed butter layered pastry will create an irresistible aroma and flavor that will leave everyone eager for more. The dough is tender and slightly sweet, thanks to the addition of sugar and yogurt. And the texture is light and fluffy – perfect for sandwiches or as a side to your favorite Armenian dish.

But what really sets Mama’s Katah apart from other bread recipes is its versatility. You can serve it with Armenian coffee as a sweet breakfast pastry or pair it with savory dips and spreads as an appetizer. It’s even great for making a juicy grilled cheese sandwich.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also easy to make. With simple ingredients such as flour, eggs, butter, milk, water, and active dry yeast, you can bake aromatic and tasty Armenian bread right in your own Kitchen.

Additionally, this recipe has been adapted by King Arthur Bakery into their Armenian Matnakash recipe. So you know you’re baking something that has been tried and tested by professionals.

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of breaking bread with family and friends or simply looking to try something new in the world of pastries and desserts – this recipe is exactly what you need! Trust me; Mama’s Katah won’t disappoint.

Ingredient List

 Golden crust, fluffy insides – that's how my Mama taught me to make her famous Katah.
Golden crust, fluffy insides – that’s how my Mama taught me to make her famous Katah.

What You’ll Need

  • Flour: 1 pound all-purpose flour
  • Yogurt and sour cream: 1 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Water: 3/4 cup warm water (not too hot, or it will kill the yeast)
  • Milk: 1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%, if using low fat milk add 1 tablespoon of butter)
  • Butter: 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Egg: 1 egg
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon salt
  • Active Dry Yeast: 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (one packet)
  • Sesame Seeds and Nigella Seeds

This bread recipe calls for basic ingredients that are easy to obtain. You will need all-purpose flour, plain yogurt, sour cream, water, milk, unsalted butter, one egg, sugar, salt, active dry yeast (one packet), sesame seeds and nigella seeds.

The Recipe How-To

 All you need is flour, yeast, water, and a little patience while the dough rises.
All you need is flour, yeast, water, and a little patience while the dough rises.

Now that you know why Mama’s Katah is such a beloved Armenian bread recipe, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start baking! This process should take you roughly 2 hours from start to finish, and the end result is worth every minute.


Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Mama’s Katah:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 eggs (one for the dough and another one for the egg wash)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

– sesame seeds and nigella seeds


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.

  2. Add warm water, warm milk, yogurt, sour cream, one egg and melted butter. Mix until a sticky dough forms.

  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

  4. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

  5. Punch down the dough gently, then cut it into two equal parts.

  6. Roll out each part with a rolling pin on a floured surface into an oval shape about 12 inches long and half an inch thick.

  7. Brush some beaten egg onto each rolled-out piece of dough then sprinkle sesame seeds and nigella seeds over it.

  8. Fold one side of the oval over itself like making a letter fold, so that three-quarters of the rolled-out piece is covered with itself.

  9. Do the same with the other side but do not fold it completely over like before so that there is still an overlap in the middle between both sides.

  10. Place on greased baking sheets or on baking pads/parchment paper.

  11. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) while waiting for your shaped loaves to proof once more for around 30 minutes.

  12. Brush beaten egg onto each half-folded loaf before you put them in the oven

  13. Bake in preheated oven for around 20 minutes until golden brown

  14. Once it has finished baking allow it cool on wire racks before slicing and serving.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

  • Be sure to brush both rolled-out pieces of dough with egg wash before folding them halfway over themselves as this is what gives Mama’s Katah its unique layered texture.

  • If you live in

Substitutions and Variations

 Trust me, the aroma of these breads baking will have the whole neighborhood knocking on your door.
Trust me, the aroma of these breads baking will have the whole neighborhood knocking on your door.

When it comes to making Mama’s Katah, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try to make the recipe your own. One substitution you can make is using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. This will give the bread a nuttier flavor and denser texture.

Another variation you can make is adding different toppings to the bread. Instead of sesame seeds, try topping the bread with nigella seeds or poppy seeds for a different flavor profile. You can also sprinkle some sugar on top for a sweeter taste or mix in some dried fruits like raisins or dried cranberries.

If you want to make this bread even more savory, consider adding some herbs and spices to the dough. Rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder are all great options that will add an extra layer of flavor to Mama’s Katah.

Lastly, you can also vary the shape of this classic bread. Instead of a traditional croissant shape, try making small rolls or even braiding the dough for a fancier presentation. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Mama’s Katah.

No matter what variations or substitutions you choose, remember that this bread is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven with a cup of Armenian coffee or as a side dish with your favorite meal.

Serving and Pairing

 These Katahs are perfect for any meal – breakfast, lunch, or dinner – or a snack in between.
These Katahs are perfect for any meal – breakfast, lunch, or dinner – or a snack in between.

Katah Armenian bread is a versatile bread that can be enjoyed with both sweet and savory dishes, making it perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. When serving, I recommend slicing the bread thinly and placing it in a basket lined with a cloth. This will make it easy for guests to grab a piece of this delicious bread at their convenience.

For a classic pairing, serve katah with feta cheese and olives. The salty flavor of these ingredients pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the bread. You can also enjoy it alongside hummus, baba ganoush or tzatziki for an authentic Mediterranean experience.

If you have a sweet tooth, try enjoying katah with honey or jam for breakfast. I personally love to sprinkle sesame seeds on top of my bread to add extra flavor and texture. For dessert, katah is an excellent option to serve alongside baklava or other pastries.

No matter how you choose to serve katah, it’s sure to become a family favorite that’s always in demand. It’s a delicious accompaniment to any meal, and its unique flavor will leave your guests impressed and satisfied. So break some bread Armenian style – the katah way!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Flour your hands and give your muscles a workout kneading the dough to perfection.
Flour your hands and give your muscles a workout kneading the dough to perfection.

Making Mama’s Katah Armenian bread ahead of time is a smart move because it allows you to enjoy freshly-baked bread without the hassle of making it from scratch every time. Once you’ve baked it, you can store the bread tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to three days.

If you need to store it longer, place it in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to three months. The best way to defrost frozen Mama’s Katah is by leaving it in the fridge overnight, but if you’re short on time, you can always defrost on the counter for a few hours.

When reheating the bread from the freezer or refrigerator, make sure to wrap it in foil and warm it in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. The bread will taste just as good as when it was freshly baked, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with its buttery aroma filling your kitchen.

I should mention that Mama’s Katah Armenian bread tastes absolutely delicious with some butter slathered on top, and pairs perfectly with a hot cup of Armenian coffee or any other warm beverage.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Let the bread rest for at least an hour before you pop it into the oven.
Let the bread rest for at least an hour before you pop it into the oven.

Before you start making Mama’s Katah, let me give you some tips that will help you achieve perfect results.

First and foremost, make sure to use high-quality ingredients. A good bread recipe like this one calls for butter, eggs, yogurt, sour cream, milk, and flour. Using fresh and good quality ingredients will enhance the flavor and texture of your bread.

Another important tip is to measure your ingredients correctly, preferably by weight. This is especially crucial when it comes to flour. Measuring flour by weight instead of by volume will ensure consistency in your dough and prevent over or under-adding flour.

If you’re using active dry yeast, always proof it first to ensure that it’s alive and active. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast with lukewarm water and a bit of sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy. If it doesn’t foam up, then your yeast is dead, and you’ll need to start over with fresh yeast.

To get an extra layer of flavor and crunch on your katah bread, sprinkle sesame seeds or nigella seeds on top before baking. You can also brush melted butter over the dough layers before baking for a richer taste.

While kneading the dough, don’t overdo it. Knead the dough only until smooth and elastic; otherwise, it may become tough and chewy. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while rising so that it doesn’t form dry spots.

Finally, always preheat the oven to the suggested temperature in the recipe before baking your katah. Baking bread at the right temperature ensures even cooking throughout its body while also building an even crust around the outside.

By following these hints and tricks in making Mama’s Katah recipe come out beautifully.


Before you begin, you may have a few questions or concerns. Don’t worry; I’m here to help! I have compiled a list of the most common questions that arise when making this delicious Armenian bread, Mama’s Katah. These FAQs should cover any issues you might encounter during the process, ensuring that your bread turns out perfectly every time. So, read on and find solutions to your queries!

What is Katah?

This recipe article is about how to make Katah, a delicious and flaky Armenian pastry that involves layering butter in the dough.

What do you eat Armenian bread with?

Armenian bread is incredibly versatile due to its thin and flat structure. It can be used in a variety of dishes such as wraps, flatbread pizzas, and even as crackers when toasted. Additionally, it pairs perfectly with various dips and can even be enjoyed alongside the delicious Haitian Plantain Porridge.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Mama’s Katah, also known as Armenian bread, is a classic and beloved recipe that has been frequently baked in Armenian-American communities for generations. Its buttery layers and sesame seed topping make it the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of Armenian coffee or as a delicious pastry to serve at any occasion.

By using high-quality ingredients such as King Arthur flour and adding yogurt and sour cream to the dough, this recipe elevates the traditional katah to new heights of flavor and texture. And with its simple method and adaptable nature, you can easily make it your own by experimenting with different fillings and variations.

Whether you’re breaking bread with friends and family or craving a warm pastry on a chilly afternoon, Mama’s Katah is sure to delight your taste buds and satisfy your soul. So why not give it a try for yourself? Share the recipe with others, bake a fresh batch for your next gathering, and experience the joy of this classic Armenian bread.

Mama's Katah - Armenian Bread

Mama's Katah - Armenian Bread Recipe

This is a very buttery, tasty, soft bread, great with cheese or jam. Good for breakfast. House smells heavenly while baking! Look for Nigella seeds (black caraway seeds) at Middle Eastern grocery stores or if you are lucky enough to have a health food store in your area that sells herbs and spices by the ounce. If not, you can find spices on line. Don't leave them out because they are crucial to flavor of bread.
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Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Armenian
Servings 6 loaves
Calories 148.4 kcal


  • 2 (1/16 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk (or can of evaporated milk)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 tablespoon nigella seeds (black caraway seeds)
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 -9 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2-1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds


  • Heat milk and water to 105-110 degrees.
  • Add yeast, with sugar, yogurt or sour cream, in Bowl of Kitchen Aide.
  • Mix in butter, Crisco, (I use butter-flavored) and oil.
  • Add eggs, salt and two cups flour and mix in KitchenAid mixer with dough hook.
  • Add black seeds.
  • Add flour one cup at a time until incorporated and dough comes together on hook. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes, until dough is shiny and smooth.
  • Remove dough from bowl.
  • Place 1 tbl. of oil in bowl and swirl ball of dough and turn dough so that all sides of dough are oiled well.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and place in warm draft free location for first rising. Warm (not hot) oven is a good place to raise dough.
  • Raise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
  • Punch down and divide into 6 balls. Cover with plastic and a towel. Rise again until double.
  • Roll out ball of dough on floured surface until as thin as you can make it. about 24 by 12 inches.
  • Spread dough with soft butter.
  • With long side facing you, roll dough jelly roll style, as you would for cinnamon buns. Place two hands in center of rope and roll back and forth, bringing hands to the ends as you roll. Stretch out gently making a long rope, about 32-36 inches, and coil into a round loaf, with seam side on the inside. Tuck end under.
  • Place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  • Roll all balls in the same manner.
  • Place on parchment lined sheet pans, with a few inches between. They shouldn't touch after rising, if possible. Three loaves per pan.
  • Brush loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Allow loaves to rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350 degrees in a pre heated oven, for approximately 30 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate pans, halfway through baking.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 48gCalories: 148.4kcalCarbohydrates: 17.3gProtein: 3.1gFat: 7.4gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27.9mgSodium: 181.8mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 1.2g
Keyword Breads, For Large Groups, Yeast
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