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Sweet Lankaran pastries | Lankaran kulchasi

Lankaran kulchasi - Sweet Lankaran pastries
Kulcha are a sweet pastry, traditionally baked in a clay oven.

The name kulcha (külçə) probably shares a root with the bread known as kulcha, popular in India and Pakistan. Two different types of kulcha are found in Azerbaijan: round kulcha with a filling, which come from the southern town of Lankaran (Lənkəran), the recipe for which is given here, and the spicier kulcha from the northwestern town of Shaki (Şəki).

Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 50 min
Serves: 4-5


  • For the pastry:
  • 450 g/1 lb 2 oz plain flour
  • 10 g/ 1/3 oz fresh yeast
  • 75 g/3 oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g/1 oz sour cream
  • poppy-seeds
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • salt
  • For the filling:
  • 200 g/8 oz plain flour
  • 100 g/4 oz granulated sugar
  • 100 g/4 oz butter
  • a few threads of saffron


  • Take the butter out of the fridge to allow it time to reach room temperature.
  • Put the threads of saffron into a cup and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse.
  • Sieve the flour onto a large board or into a large bowl and make a hole in the centre. Put the yeast, egg, soft butter, sugar and salt into the hole and gradually fold in the flour from the outside.
  • Knead well until the dough is smooth and soft.
  • Cover with a clean teacloth and leave in a warm place to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
  • For the filling, cream the sugar and butter. Add the saffron infusion and the flour and mix well. The filling should be crumbly.
  • When the dough has risen, knead it again and roll it out several times.
  • Divide the dough into balls of around 75 g/3 oz. On a floured surface roll out each ball into a rectangle, 1 cm/0.4 inch thick.
  • Put a spoonful of stuffing in the centre of each rectangle. Fold the corners to the centre and then fold in the edges, shaping the kulcha into a round.
  • Leave to rest for 40 minutes.
  • Coat the surface of the kulcha with beaten egg and sprinkle poppy seeds on top.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 20-25 minutes.

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