Kete Bread Rolls

Kete, buttery, flaky Turkish pastries, come in many variations, some sweet and some savory. This savory version adapted from The Turkish Cookbook (Phaidon) incorporates crushed walnuts and a hint of fresh thyme to make herbaceous, multilayered bread rolls with a satisfying crunch to them. When folding the kete, the most important step is rolling the dough into spirals to create flaky layers. The kete bread rolls are best enjoyed warm from the oven the day they're made, but leftovers are delicious gently toasted in the oven.

Kete Rolls
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins



  • ¾ cup whole milk, warmed to 105°F to 115°F

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 8 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface

  • 1.50 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup walnuts (about 3 1/2 ounces), finely chopped

  • .50 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/8 ounces)

  • .50 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

Additional Ingredients

  • .50 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon water


Make the dough:

  1. Stir together warm milk and yeast in a small bowl until yeast dissolves. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in flour; add warm milk mixture and softened butter. Mix together using your hands, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 12 minutes. Cover bowl with a damp dish towel, and let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling:

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium. Add walnuts, flour, and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture browns slightly to the color of peanut butter, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to let cool, about 1 hour. Stir in thyme.

  2. Divide dough evenly into 8 portions (about 2 ounces each) on a lightly floured work surface. Working with 2 dough portions at a time, roll each into paper-thin 11- to 12-inch rounds. Liberally brush 1 round with melted butter; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons filling. Top with second dough round; repeat buttering and sprinkling process. Roll into a tight log. Shape log into a spiral, tucking outer end underneath the pastry. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the palm of your hand, press pastry to 3/4-inch thickness. Brush top with melted butter, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Repeat process with remaining 6 dough rounds and remaining filling. Let prepared pastries rest, covered, 20 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush pastries evenly with some of the egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest 15 minutes. Remove plastic wrap, and brush pastries again with remaining egg mixture.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

Filling can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Rolls may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day and reheated slightly before serving.

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