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25-30 minutes at 350°. Yields 8 gata. Watch the video here!

Recipe provided by Sarin Chemilian.

Dietary Notes

Nut free, peanut free, vegetarian



  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) yeast

  • 10 eggs

  • ¼ cup (60 mL) shortening

  • ½ cup (120 mL) butter

  • 1 ½ cups (360 mL) milk

  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) mahaleb

  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt

  • 9 cups (2.2 L) flour

  • Olive oil


  • 2 cups (480 mL) butter, and more to brush the dough

  • 2 ¼ cups (540 mL) sugar

  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) cloves

  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) mahaleb

  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt

  • 7 cups (1.7 L) flour

Egg wash

  • 4 eggs


  1. Combine yeast with ½ cup (120 mL) luke-warm water and set aside while you make the dough, or for about 5-10 minutes. Periodically stir your yeast to make sure it’s evenly mixed into the water.

  2. In a small saucepan melt ¼ cup (60 mL) shortening and ½ cup (120 mL) butter together.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 10 eggs with 1 cup (240 mL) of sugar until evenly combined.

  4. Let the butter and shortening cool somewhat, and then add the melted butter and shortening to the eggs and sugar.

  5. In the same saucepan as you melted the butter, heat 1 ½ cups (360 mL) of milk at medium heat.

  6. Add activated yeast to the eggs, and mix to combine.

  7. Add the milk into the eggs mixture.

  8. Add mahaleb and salt and stir to evenly incorporate.

  9. Add flour and, using your hands, knead the mixture until it forms a dough. After 5-10 minutes, the dough will be soft, and hold together. If the dough does not hold together, add some water.

  10. Oil a large mixing bowl at least twice the size of your dough, and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and store in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. 1.5 - 2 hours.

  11. Once the dough has risen, oil a large serving platter. Tear the dough into approximately baseball-sized portions, and lay them out on the platter so they have space to rise. Cover the dough again, and store in a warm place to continue rising and again double in size. 1.5 - 2 hours.

  12. Begin mixing the filling about a half hour before the second rise is complete.

  13. Melt 2 cups (480 mL) butter and mix it with 2 ¼ cups (540 mL) sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  14. Mix in cloves, mahaleb, and salt, and mix to fully incorporate the spices into the sugar and butter mixture.

  15. Mix in the 7 cups (1.7 L) of flour in three stages, fully incorporating it into the butter and sugar each time, until the mixture feels dry, but still keeps together when compressed.

  16. Take a piece of dough, and roll it into a circle about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Brush the face of the dough with melted butter.

  17. Scoop between ½ cup (120 mL) and ⅔ cups (160 mL) of the filling into the center of the dough, or enough that you will be able to fold up the edges of the dough and cover the filling.

  18. Fold one edge of the dough to the center of the filling, then grab one of the corners that has formed, and fold that to the center. Continue to fold the dough towards the center until you have created a ball with the filling fully inside. Pinch the dough where the edges meet so that it stays closed.

  19. Flatten the gata with a rolling pin so that it’s 1 ½ (3 cm) thick, and lay it out on a baking sheet.

  20. Repeat steps 16 through 19 for each piece of dough.

  21. Separate 2 eggs and retain the yolks.

  22. Brush the tops and sides of the gata with the yolk. Be generous, and use more eggs if necessary.

  23. Cover the gata with plastic wrap to rise one more time for 30 minutes.

  24. Preheat the oven to 350°

  25. Separate 2 more eggs and retain the yolks.

  26. Uncover the gata once they have risen and brush them with the yolks immediately before going in the oven.

  27. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the top and bottom.

Tools and Ingredients

Gata isn’t a small task, and there aren’t a lot of ways around all the physical work, but here’s some quality of life tools you can leverage to save your shoulders, and some ingredients you might not otherwise have.

The above links are provided because Learn the Dish is an Amazon Associate. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from your qualifying purchases.

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