Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) | Cookbook Giveaway

This Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) is traditionally made for the New Year (Nowruz) or for Ramadan, and gets its golden color from turmeric.

Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) by

I have been blogging since 2008. I still remember how it was a this no-man’s land of blogs and websites. Many of us were like little islands in this big ocean of the internet, not connected with each, quietly doing our own thing. And look at the blogging world today: blogs of every subject are EVERYWHERE and bloggers connecting with each other at conferences and through social media. It has never been easier to connect with people from all over the world.

One of the first blogs I discovered when I began blogging in 2008 was AZ Cookbook, by Feride Buyuran, who shares recipes from Azerbaijan and Turkey. Azerbaijan is a small country nestled northwest of Iran, east of Turkey and Armenia, south of Georgia and Russia, and west of the Caspian Sea. I knew that Iran and Azerbaijan shared many similar recipes, and I enjoyed reading Feride’s blog and learning more about her beautiful culture.

Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook by Feride Buyuran

Feride, like many other talented food bloggers, had a dream about sharing her recipes with the world and wanted to publish a cookbook. Big publishers felt there wasn’t a market for an Azerbaijani cookbook even though there was not a single Azerbaijani cookbook in existence. So Feride decided to self publish her cookbook, Pomegranates and Saffron.

And what a cookbook it is! Feride has won several awards: 2014 Winner of Gourmand Best in the World Award, U.S. Winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Award (Eastern European Cookbooks category), Living Now Book Award – Silver Medalist (Ethnic Cookbooks category), and National Indie Excellence Award Winner (International Cookbooks Category).

 Feride Buyuran, author of Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook

Feride took on the challenge of researching and documenting recipes from every region of Azerbaijan. Again, let’s look at the map where Azerbaijan is located and see how many countries surround this little nation. It is fascinating to read and see how all of these countries have influenced Azerbaijani cuisine in their own unique way. Pomegranates and Saffron includes over 200 recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks, and desserts. And many of the recipes featured are exclusively Azerbaijani, and not originally from another country.

So, yes, you can tell I’m a big fan of Feride. And when I saw that Melissa’s Produce was hosting a demo for Feride and her cookbook, I knew I had to attend and meet Feride in person. I am happy to report that Feride is as lovely and gracious in person as she is online. Those of us who attended the luncheon, were fascinated with Feride’s story and explanation of Azerbaijani cuisine. We flipped through her beautiful book and ooo’ed and aaah’ed over all the unique recipes we saw.

Some of the amazing dishes we were able to enjoy at the luncheon include:

Fresh chopped salad from Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook by Feride Buyuran

Fresh chopped salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, basil and cilantro.

Vegetable kabab salad from Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook by Feride Buyuran

Vegetable kabab salad made with eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, mint and cilantro.

Rize koftesi from Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook by Feride Buyuran

Rize koftesi: meatballs in sweet-and-sour tomato sauce.

Baku-style baklava from Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook by Feride Buyuran

Baku-style baklava, with homemade dough not phyllo.

I was happy to see this Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) was included in her book (this is the bread featured at the top of the post). I made this for my son’s 3rd grade class several years ago. The students were learning about many different countries throughout the school year and were able sample foods from those countries. When they came to “visit” Azerbaijan, I made a large loaf of this Sweet Milk Bread.

Not only was it a gorgeous bread, look at that golden yellow from the turmeric! But this bread was truly delicious and all the children ate it up. No leftovers to bring home!

Giveaway Time:

I am happy to share this gorgeous cookbook the unique Azerbaijani recipes with all of you by giving away a copy of Feride’s cookbook, Pomegranates and Saffron. You definitely do not have anything quite like this in your cookbook collection! I am also giving away 5-grams of HIGH QUALITY Persian saffron. The retail value of the saffron alone is approximately $50. This is premium saffron that I use regularly in my cooking and will work beautifully with the recipes in Feride’s cookbook.

Giveaway on Pomegranates and Saffron Cookbook by Feride Buyuran and 5-grams of Premium Persian Saffron. Ends 8/1/2016

To be eligible for the giveaway, you must live in the U.S. To enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Monday August 1, 2016 at midnight PST.

Disclosure: I was provided a cookbook to review, but no additional compensation. I paid for the cookbook that I am giving away.The opinions I expressed here are my own. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it!

Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek)

This Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) is traditionally made for the New Year (Nowruz) or for Ramadan, and gets its golden color from turmeric.


  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk, divided
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds


  1. In a small bowl, combine:
    • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1 cup warm milk
  2. Let it stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir until mixed:
    • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 ¾ cups sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. Make a well in the center and pour in milk-yeast mixture along with:
    • 1 cup warm milk
    • 1 large egg
    • 7 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  5. Using your hands, mix until a sticky ball forms.
  6. Transfer the dough onto a flat surface and knead until elastic. In the beginning, the dough will very sticky in the beginning, but it will become less sticky as you continue kneading it.
  7. The final dough should be fluffy and not very tight, so resist the temptation to add more flour unless the dough is remains sticky after continuously kneading it.
  8. Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 ½-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  9. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces and shape them into balls.
  11. Place the balls onto your work surface and flatten with your hands to form into disks 9 inches in diameter and ½ inch (1.2 cm).
  12. Transfer the disks onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  13. Cover the bread again with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise again for 1 hour.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  15. Right before baking, whisk together in a small bowl:
    • 1 large egg
  16. Brush the tops of the breads with egg mixture.
  17. Using the back of a fork, press across the top of the bed creating a cross hatch pattern.
  18. Scatter the top with:
    • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  19. Bake in the center of the oven until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. If you can't fit two baking sheets on one rack, place one sheet on the lower rack, and another on the top rack, bake for 15 minutes, then switch and bake until ready.
  20. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely, then cut into pieces and serve.

Prep Time:

Yield: 2 9-inch breads

Cook Time:

Total Time:

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12 Responses to Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek) | Cookbook Giveaway

  1. Jeffrey at #

    I’ve never tried Azerbaijani food, but as I’ve grown older I have also grown more open to trying new and exciting flavor combinations. Some people eat to survive, I on the other hand look at food as a source of celebration. There are too many flavors out there in this world and to limit oneself to one cuisine is almost criminal! Haha

  2. Steph at #

    I have never tried this food but I would love to

  3. cyndi br at #

    I have not tried Azerbaijani food

  4. Hi Laura, I love Feride’s blog and three years ago, I featured her Zebra Cake on my blog with quite a response from my readers. Three of them even sent me the photos of their creations.
    I am very familiar with Azerbaijani Sweet Milk Bread (Shirin Chorek). When we were in Iran, my Father would get them, because he had grown up in Baku, Azerbaijan. Chorek sure is very delicious and yours looks perfect! Please count me in the drawing for the giveaway, I do live in the USA! 😀 )))
    P.S. Please say ‘Hi’ to Feride, for me. 🙂

  5. One of my favorite new cookbooks! It is truly stunning. (I have the book so am not entering the giveaway.)

  6. Cathy at #

    All of the breads in this cookbook look amazing. Once the weather cools down, I am going to work my way thru the bread section.

    This cookbook is truly a work of art and you can tell it was created with love.

  7. Annette at #

    No, I’ve never tried Azerbaijani food, but I’m loving all the flavor combinations.

  8. Fiona at #

    I love Feride’s Blog and have tried some of her delicious recioes with great success. I would love to win a copy of this cookbook, but unfortunately i am not in the US I hope this excellent book is eventually available worldwide.

  9. Stephanie at #

    I have not but I would so love to, it all looks and sounds so amazing!

  10. Erika Chilton at #

    I have never tried Azerbaijani food, but am willing to try it.

  11. DJ at #

    I haven’t yet, but it looks really good.

  12. Carolsue at #

    I have never tried it, but I love ethnic food so I will look up some recipes and try it!

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