The key to happiness? Never stop learning: Noon Rogani Bread

noon-rogani

Waaaay back when my husband David and I began dating, after years of friendship, he told me that most of the people he was working with were very, very beige. Not that they dressed in tan tones, but rather that they lived in tan tones; not a colorful character in the bunch.

Of course I just had to ask if I was beige, too. ” No,” he said. “You’re…

…Walt Disney’s dreams come true.” Be still my heart! I knew he was a keeper from that moment on. Of course there was that other time that he said my eyes looked like limpid pools of toxic waste, but that’s another story.

Twenty years later, I know he still thinks I’m pretty fun to be around, and I feel the same way about him. It still means a lot to me that I miss him during the day and I’m happy to get home at night, and talk to him about the day.

I think one of the things that keeps us interested in each other is that we’ve always been active learners, and it gives us new ideas and subjects to talk about.  A few years ago David took up beekeeping; this year we’re learning to raise chickens, and of course there’s always the raising of a smart, beautiful, unique teenage girl to keep us on our toes.

We are all three avid readers, and often read the same books. That, combined with daughter Shannon’s very definite views on the world, makes for some very interesting conversations.

Here at work, I’m so very lucky to be involved in many different learning situations. Of course I learn from my co-workers every day; but more specifically, I teach at our Baking Education Center here in Vermont.

The Baking Education Center opened its doors in 2000, with one classroom in the same building as our retail store and bakery. Since that date, more than 22,000 students of all ages, from all over the world, have taken classes here in Vermont.

Today, the Baking Education Center, or BEC for short, hosts two classrooms, including the Sands Room – where our retail store used to be. It’s fun to walk through the room now, with its walk-in fridge and freezer where the cash registers used to be, and the wood-fired oven where the cookbooks used to live.

Classes are held almost every day of the week: for home bakers, children, families, and professional bakers. We’ve been graced with the presence of many famous chefs and bakers, including MaryAnn Esposito, White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier, Peter Reinhart, Mark Isreal, Kiko Denzer… the list goes on and on.

Add to that the vast array of in-house talent, including our own Susan Reid, PJ Hamel, and Master Baker Jeff Hamelman, and you can see why Arthur Flour is the largest educator of home and professional bakers in the world. I do the happy dance each time I realize what a great institution I get to be a part of, combining my love of baking with my love of teaching. Win-win!

In true New England fashion, I have connections to several of the staff members at the BEC. Michelle Kupiec, another instructor, used to work in computers with my husband David many years ago; and Robyn Sargent has been a friend ever since I was her daughter’s pre-school teacher. Robyn’s daughter, Megan, is now graduating from high school, so we go back quite a way!

Robyn also writes the curriculum for the BEC, and it’s always a treat to see the new and exciting things she has in store for bakers. One recent class was Breakfast Breads Around the World. Ohhh, how exotic! I was delighted and enchanted with the Noon Rogani recipe in this class.

Inspired by Maggie Glezer’s book “A Blessing of Bread,” the bread is Azerbaijani in origin. Azerbaijani refers to an ethnic group hailing from the Azerbaijan (az-er-buy-jon) region of northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. For these people, bread is literally sacred: a symbol of fruitfulness and prosperity. Bread is served at every meal, and in great variety, including flatbreads like lavash, tandoori baked breads, and pastries.

Noon Rogani will remind you of a big round cinnamon bun without the icing. It’s a delightfully delicious bread, and all the more fun as you have to roll it out to a 5-foot-long rope!

Ah-ha! Now you’re just dying to see how that goes, aren’t you? Let me be your guide to Noon Rogani.

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Gotta love the dough cycle on the Zo bread machine; such lovely gluten development. Now, in classes we don’t use bread machines, so do make the dough by hand or in your mixer if you’re so inclined.

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After the first rise, lightly flour your work surface and pat the dough out to a rough rectangle or, as Robyn says, a pillow.

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Roll the dough out with your pin to approximately 23” square, 1/8” thick.

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Blend together the cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, melt the butter, and brush half of it over the dough.

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Generously sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough and press it in gently with your fingers.

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Fold over the long edge farther away from you, and begin rolling the dough into a log.

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I left my dough scraper in the photo for scale. You can see that the rope of dough is quite thick, and a bit longer than the rectangle we started with. Now, the real fun begins!

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Clear off a large swath of counter space. PJ was curious as to how home bakers could manage a 5′ rope without benefit of our long baker’s benches in the BEC, so I used this 4′ table in the kitchen to roll. Let’s see if we can make it fit.

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Rolling the rope of dough like a Play-doh snake, we’ve hit the 4′ mark. Now what?

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Just turn the snake and keep going up the sides of the table. Six inches on either end, and we’ve hit 5′.

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Once the rope is long enough, it’s time to make like Chubby Checker and do the twist. This reminded me of rolling up a towel to give someone a good snap in the bum, and that brought back memories of the one and only time I snapped my dear husband. I wasn’t even TRYING to connect, just horsing around, but you could hear that SNAP in the next state, I swear. He wheeled around, I dropped the towel and ran, yelling “ I’m SORRY!” all the way. He eventually believed me, but I’ve never even jested with a rat tail again!

Anywho, back to the bread.

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Once you’ve twisted the whole rope, gently spiral it flat on your work surface or a piece of parchment. Roll with enough tension to keep the spiral shape, but  not too tight or the bread will rise up to a volcano shape as it bakes.

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You can definitely see the Middle Eastern influence in the shape of this bread, resembling a turban.

Brush the loaf with the rest of the melted butter and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 to 50 minutes, or until puffy.

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Ready to go. Don’t worry about small tears, or bubbles. This is a rustic loaf and those are just part of the charm.

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Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes. The loaf will be golden brown and fragrant.

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Don’t you just love the twisted spiral design? To serve, you can slice the bread in wedges, but I like to pull off long pieces of the rope, unwrapping as I go along. It’s funny to see the spiral getting smaller and smaller as you go.

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That is one impressive loaf of bread. Inside, the cinnamon-y goodness is warm and fragrant, just waiting to melt in your mouth.

Azerbaijani breads can also be savory, so try using some of your favorite cheeses and herbs as a filling. Feta is very popular and would be great in this bread, with a big bowl of olives on the side.

So, please bake, rate and review our recipe for Noon Rogani, and remember to try new things, meet new people, and never stop learning!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Jacquelyn

    Love the blog notes! Your relationship with your husband sounds so much like mine! I miss him terribly when he’s at work and my world is complete when he is home. He is the first person I want to call or tell all my exciting and not so exciting news to! Thanks for the personal flair here! This looks awesome! I’m lucky if I have 3 feet of counter space – probably closer to 2 feet. But I’ll have to try this one – I’ve been thinking of making cinnamon rolls for my food blog but I may have to go this route. Thanks! Jacquelyn p.s. I like your job :)
    Thanks Jacquelyn. I know you’ll understand the funny looks people give you when you say you go grocery shopping together just to be together, or that a night at home reading together is better than struggling to doll up for a fancy dinner on the town. We’re simple, easygoing friends who are in love, even after all this time. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  2. hannah @ thepastrykook

    oooh you can never go wrong with cinnamon! this looks sooo good. especially the dough to be popped into the oven. i could just eat that!
    PJ was my savior that day. I had to run and was going to take the dough in the car with me and hopefully bake it later that day, but she was a darling and offered to bake and photo the final steps for me. What a pal!
    ~ MaryJane

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  3. Susan

    This looks wonderful! I’m a sucker for anything with cinnamon, sugar and butter! What about dividing this dough in half and making two (2 1/2 feet rolls) buns, for those of us who are space-challenged? I have an apartment-sized kitchen. Would I bake them together on the pan and would I still use the same time limit? Thanks for your reply! By the way, your blogs are the only ones I read!
    Thanks for being a fan. Sure you can make two smaller ones Just bake till the center reaches 190-195 degrees. We only made the large ones so do not have a time for you. JMD @ KAF

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  4. Alsace

    Sounds great! Can we divide the dough in half and make smaller “turbans”? What would be the baking time estimate?

    And, for those of us who have no siblings, we may need another description for how to twist the roll. Did you start at one end, lift half and twist? Or did you start in the middle and work out, lifting only three inches? Maybe I’m too much of a dough shaping novice! :)
    Simple -Start at one end and turn and turn some more till you reach the other end. It will take a bit this is 5 feet long and it is a lot of twisting. But you can put on some jazzy music and twist to it. JMD @ KAF

    Reply
  5. Wei-Wei

    This looks amazing. It’s sort of like a (what was it…) Azerbaijani cinnamon roll in the way that it can be unravelled. I think it looks even better than cinnamon rolls with its spiral :D

    Wei-Wei

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  6. claire

    Just like another reader, Jacquelyn, I also love the personal notes on this recipe……so entertaining and informative. I love how you spoke of your teenage daughter; reminded me of our own daughter. We banged heads daily and now she is all grown-up, married, and just received her Master’s degree (with honors, ahem-ahem). And she is my very best friend.

    I will definitely be making this bread and thank you for reminding people to never stop learning and to embrace all other cultures. And food is the best way to share all our cultures, isn’t it!?

    Thanks again for all you do at King Arthur. I wish with all my heart that we could live closer ~ I’d be at every class!!

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Bravo to you Madre for all of YOUR hard work raising a strong confident child. Honestly, I can say I really like my daughter, she’s a great person. I do hope someday you’ll get the chance to come see us in person. The more the merrier!
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. Matthew

    What a charming post. And what a wonderful bread. Reminds me a bit of the cinnamon babka we made in a class with Peter Reinhart. Of course, that also had chocolate, streusel topping, and a glaze. Talk about over the top!

    Reply
  8. Eileen

    Wow….this looks awesome! I can smell the cinnamon right now….I can’t wait to try it at home with my 13 year old daughter this weekend! We love to bake together and this really looks like something fun that she would love….and the rest of my family! Can’t wait to get started!!
    Isn’t baking with your special girl fun? It’s a great time to talk and share and of course, laugh. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

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  9. Suzanne

    Could you hold this overnight in the fridge before the final rise, and then bake in the morning? we haven’t tried that variant. I think it would work. Give it a try and let us know. Mary@ KAF

    Reply
  10. SoupAddict Karen

    I’d have to drape boards over my stove to make this baby! I love the idea of feta cheese … and olives in the bread. That’s a show-stopper loaf! Your students are very lucky to have in-person access to your wisdom, MaryJane. :)
    You are the SWEETEST person Karen, you always make me feel great. I’m going to hire you and Andrea to come with me when I shop for bathing suits. Maybe then I won’t break down in tears and have to buy ice cream to sooth my nerves! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  11. SallyBR

    Just a perfect post! With a beautiful, intriguing bread to boost!
    :-)

    Loved it all… I think the students in our lab would go nuts for this bread

    Reply
  12. Rita

    Noon Rogani – an Azerbaijani spiral bread,
    and it is great to have international recipe here
    for sure I will try it
    Thanks :)
    Happy Baking

    Reply
  13. fran s

    I LOVE YOUR PERSONAL NOTES TOO. YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND SOUND LIKE ME AND MINE TOO! MY FAMILY LOVES ALL SORTS OF FOODS, WE ARE ALWAYS TRYING SOMETHING NEW. BEIGE IS THE PERFECT WAY TO DESCRIBE SOME OF MY CO-WORKERS, AND NONE OF THEM BAKE SO I KNOW THEY WILL NEVER READ THIS.
    I GENERALLY READ THE RECIPES FIRST JUST TO SEE IF I HAVE EVERYTHING ON HAND BEFORE I GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT A BAKING PROJECT. I MUST ADMIT IT LOOKED A LITTLE DAUNTING AT FIRST UNTIL I READ THE BLOG AND SAW ALL OF YOUR WONDERFUL PICTURES. I WOULD HAVE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT THE DOUGH GETTING TOO THIN IN SPOTS WITH ALL THE ROLLING AND TWISTING. THANKS FOR THE REASSURANCE. THIS LOOKS SO INTERESTING AND YUMMY I WILL GIVE THIS A TRY. I KNOW I CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH A RECIPE FROM KAF!
    Thanks Fran. I’m so glad the photos etc. helped. The bread really does come together very quickly, I hope you give it a try. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  14. Paula

    What a coincidence! I was a student in the Breakfast Breads from Around the World class in March and just made this recipe (for the first time at home) last weekend! I actually made two of the changes suggested by others, including making two loaves instead of one and holding the bread in the fridge overnight before baking. To make my two loaves, I rolled the risen dough out into the 23-inch square as directed, spread the whole square with the melted butter and cinnamon & sugar, rolled it up into a log, then cut the log in half and rolled each smaller log out to the two-and-a-half foot rope. I rolled up each rope into a spiral loaf, let the loaves rise for about 30 minutes or so at room temperature, then transferred them to the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, I took the loaves out of the fridge, let them adjust to room temp. a little, brushed with butter, then baked. The changes worked just fine. The breads looked and tasted great! They were a big hit! And the big advantage here was that the breads baked faster and I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to have fresh, warm bread at breakfast! I’m not sure I should admit this, but I think I like this bread better than cinnamon rolls. The subtle sweetness is perfect. Thanks so much for the recipe!
    THANK YOU Paula, for sharing your techniques. You go girl! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  15. Cecelia

    Way to go! You’re family sounds so neat, trying your hand with bees and chickens! We started chickens this year and love it, and also (for the first time ever) have a successful garden! I just might have to try my hand at new things with this Noon Rogani.
    Hi Cecilia,
    Ah, the chicken fever spreads like wildfire doesn’t it? I intended to get 6 chooks, and ended up with 19! Somebody stop me! (OH, wait. David did stop me. :))

    Reply
  16. Madeline

    This looks very interesting! Would it be possible to use the KA Baker’s cinnamon filling instead of the cinnamon and sugar mix? Thanks for your blog entries, they are so informative!
    Sure, the cinnamon filling would work fine in this recipe. Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  17. Janice

    Yet another post that proves KAF and their employees are remarkable. Thanks for the recipe, the “how-to” guide, and the personal story!! Love it and can’t wait to try this bread!!
    Thanks Janice. We’ve survived the building of the chicken coop, so bring on the next adventure! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  18. Lynda

    Great post! I will have to make this bread on a Tuesday when hubby is away from the house at his volunteering gig. What a surprise it would be as he loves cinnamon. Thanks for the recipe and the great personal story.
    Hope you get BIG kisses, you great wife you! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  19. CR

    I am a bread-baking novice and would ordinarily never have attempted anything this “daring.” However, the straightforward instructions and clear step-by-step photos answered my questions and gave me the confidence that I could do this.

    Since my goal was to bake something for a lunchtime bicycle race, I used fresh rosemary from our garden and fresh mozzarella cheese from the local Italian specialty shop that we just had in the fridge. The entire process of preparing the bread went very smoothly — Though I did need my husband to lend a hand with the twisting and rolling!!! The finished bread had great flavor and looked almost exactly like the pictures.

    Everyone was very impressed with my baking!!! Thanks for a great recipe with such foolproof instructions.

    Reply
  20. Kathleen

    Would the recipe need any adjustment if made with 1/2 white whole wheat flour? You would probably need to increase the liquid slightly- usually 1 to 2 tablespoons is sufficient. Mary@KAF

    Reply
  21. Susan

    Holy Smokes.. now that’s one big cinnamon roll! Just gorgeous. It reminds me of a turban… Arabian Nights and all that jazz.. only sweeter and far more satisfying. Such great photo’s and a wonderful post! I’ve never left this website without thinking to myself, “Wow, you learn something new everyday!” Thanks for posting.. I’m giving this a try!

    Reply
  22. Deb

    I tried this bread last Saturday morning- it worked exactly like the recipe said it would, except that it was much drier than a “slurry” in the first step. What AWESOME flavor! We ate the whole thing before lunch. I made it again that afternoon but cut the “rope” in two and wound it up into two smaller loaves to pass on to church friends the next morning. I am still getting rave reviews and hints that they would like to see more of this one. VERY easy, not time-consuming and pull-apart cinnamon goodness- what’s not to like!?

    Reply
  23. Sue

    I just found this recipe. With cinnamon filling it looks and sounds amazing. I WILL try this. Also,tho, it reminds me of some bread I used to buy at farmer’s markets in the DC area. The seller was Azerbaijani and, much to our sorrow, he moved back to “the old country” before we moved away from DC. His bread has smoked cheese in it. I may have to try it with, maybe, smoked cheddar.

    Reply
  24. sofia100

    I wanted to ask a tech question of readers: are you printing these out? Is there another way to save these great recipes? When I print them I wind up with chapter size stacks! I won’t have any room if I keep doing this. I was thinking of saving to dvd? I like seeing the steps-but continually printing out these recipes is getting costly, and I just can’t buy anymore cookbooks for one recipe. Any suggestions? I’m really looking forward to making this. I have to use my dining room table to do any rolling out.

    Sofia, best bet is to go to the actual recipe itself, which links from the end of the blog. Choose the “print version” link under the picture at the top – you’ll have a 1 or maybe 2-page recipe. – PJH

    Reply
  25. laurie

    I was looking for bread recipes and noticed this. The book, A Blessing of Bread, is fantastic! I ordered it online last week and it showed up today. Yea! I had been using a library copy and felt guilty because many of the pages show evidence of the recipes being attempted. The Czernowitzer challah is my favorite. All the braiding instructions are amazing. The four-braided challah is so much prettier than a three-braid and isn’t much extra work.

    Yes, I agree, Laurie – those four-strand braids are gorgeous, if you can avoid getting confused during the braiding process. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty fast. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here- PJH

    Reply
  26. lauried

    I was looking for bread recipes and noticed this. The book, A Blessing of Bread, is fantastic! I ordered it online last week and it showed up today. Yea! I had been using a library copy and felt guilty because many of the pages show “evidence” of the recipes being attempted. The Czernowitzer challah is my favorite. All the braiding instructions are amazing. The four-braided challah is so much prettier than a three-braid and isn’t much extra work.

    Reply

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