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Kalács-Rolled Walnut Bread

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I’m finally finding the time to catch up on a few recipes I made in these last months. This kalács recipe is a favorite of mine and I’m not sure why it took me so long to share it here with all of you. 
 
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Everyone has certain memories of the holidays. Most may be filled with special cakes or cookies. This is a recipe that transforms me back to Christmas Eve every time we bake it. My sweet Mariskaneni (my mom’s aunt from Hungary) would greet us at her house with her kalács and other Hungarian treats and we would open a present and enjoy a relaxing evening together. Mariskaneni made them with her incredible walnut-raisin filling and also with poppy seeds. I have to say I enjoyed both fillings equally. If there wasn’t kalács or kifli it wasn’t Christmas.  And now it’s the same at my house at holiday time. The kids remind me after the cookie baking frenzy is over that it’s time to make our special Hungarian rolls.
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Spring has sprung and it’s already summer here in Florida. Spring lasted probably 2 days. My bougainvillea is hot pink and stunning! (my daughter took these photos in the garden last week)
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That’s my mango tree on the left in the background.
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My tree seems to be a little confused. It has some mangoes on the front of the tree that seem almost ready. On the back side there are mangoes in different stages. Some that just barely noticeable...little dots in the flowers. There will be mangoes all summer and I can’t wait to start making smoothies again. My mango tree is the only thing (besides my one successful papaya tree that my dad planted) that never lets me down. 
Do you have a green thumb? What are you successful in growing in your garden?
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some notes on this Kalács: Kalács is a rolled yeast dough filled with walnut or poppy seeds. It is a traditional holiday recipe that is enjoyed on most Hungarian homes during Christmas even Easter. It is not as difficult to make as you may imagine! It is very easy to prepare and everyone will love it. This is a holiday recipe that has become a tradition to prepare in our home. My mother remembers eating it as a little girl in Hungary during the holidays when her mom made it. We now bake it together with my kids. I know one day they will carry on the tradition of keeping a little bit of their Hungarian culture alive in their families. The recipe I like to use is from the New York Times. Their directions are to make the dough completely by hand and that is fine if you prefer working out your arms. I like to use my mixer with the dough hook attached.
Kalács-Rolled Walnut Bread
For the dough:
1/2 cup milk
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
1/2 teaspoon plus 5 tablespoons sugar
4 cups flour, sifted, plus more for the work surface
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
Zest of 1 lemon
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sour cream
For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds walnuts, ground
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup raisins, chopped
2 Tbsp. brandy (or other liqueur)
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg white, beaten
1 whole egg, beaten
Directions
To make the dough, heat the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm. Pour the milk into the bowl of a mixer. Add the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and let it become very foamy, about 10 minutes. Beat in the butter and the egg yolks one at a time until combined. Mix in the remaining 5 Tablespoons of sugar, lemon zest and sour cream and beat until combined. Slowly add in the flour one cup at a time. Mix together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Slowly add the rest of the flour and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour. Mix on low speed until dough is incorporated. Add flour if needed 1 Tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but also firm.
Take dough out of mixer bowl, form into a ball and coat with a light film of canola oil.

Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).

To make the filling: In a small bowl, mix together the walnuts, sugar, raisins, brandy and  milk until combined; set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Divide the dough into 3 balls. On a floured surface, roll out the first ball into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 of the walnut mixture evenly over it and roll it up into a 13-inch-long log.
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Dab some egg white along the seam and place the log seam side down onto a well-buttered 9-by-13-inch pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Brush the whole beaten egg over the tops of the loaves. Bake until lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy Baking! xo Lora

32 comments

  1. One of the best things you ever posted Lora. Love this bread so much! It´s the type of yeasted recipe that made me fall in love with baking. Recipes from eastern europe usually are my favorite. Gorgeous!

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  2. Oh how marvelous this loaf looks! Your talent always amazes me.

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  3. The bread looks luscious and simply irresistible, Lora.

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  4. Hola Lora: Esta receta está buenísima. Hace muy poco me inscribí en tu blog y la verdad, tienes muy buenas recetas. Te felicito.

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  5. I'd love to just move into your kitchen and reap the rewards of all the delicacies that come from your oven. This rolled walnut loaf looks irresistible!!!

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  6. What a delicious bread, Lora! I love the walnut filling :).

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  7. That is delicious rolled bread. Love that filling.

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  8. that bread is SPECTACULAR and I want some right now. :)

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous bread lady. I also dig that bougainvillea. I'm not sure if they grow here. I need to find out. I'm a hydrangea girl. I think we're closing in on 50 in the yard. Sad I know.

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  10. I have never heard of this bread before but it looks amazing with all that filling!

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  11. Oh to have a mango tree right in the back yard! Wow! But just as lovely and wonderful looking is your yummy bread and I don't even need a green thumb, maybe just a white one!

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  12. this looks incredible, Lora!

    I wish I had a mango tree and a papaya tree! My Hawaii grandpa had both, and that would be our breakfast all summer long... Mmm...

    my green thumb is ... okay. I am successful with basil and roma tomato and zucchini, and our new house has that cherry tree that I am very successful at harvesting! ;)

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  13. I envy your warm weather, beautiful flora, and your ability to make scrumptious bread (with yeast!). :D

    Lora, this looks amazing! I'd give just about anything for a slice (or two) right now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  14. You may have taken a while but I'm just delighted that you did share this bread with us. It looks so wonderful with all those ground walnuts and raisins in it. The house must smell fabulous when this is baking!

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  15. My grandmother used to make the poppy seed version and I used to pull out the poppy seed interior, leaving the crust. Loved your walnut Kalacs..absolutely beautiful. That said, beautiful garden and flowers, and I'm really looking forward to your mango creations! What I would give to have a mango, orange and lemon tree, but then I'd have to give up Fall and Winter weather wise..so I'll just buy them for now ;)

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  16. Looks like a really yummy bread Lora. How great that you have a mango tree even though it's confused as to what season it is :)

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  17. Great reminders of spring. It is delayed in getting here this year, we got 12 inches of snow yesterday :( Your bread looks amazing!

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  18. This is making my mouth water! I can only imagine how great your kitchen smelled. I love all of the breads you make - your are a master!!!

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  19. Oh... you have a mango tree??? I'm so envious!!! My girlfriend grew up in Panama and said that the trees had so many mangoes that they could never eat them all. I adore them.
    And I adore this Bread!! I can see myself single handedly polishing off half the loaf at one sitting!!

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  20. This bread is gorgeous, Lora...heavenly in the bread world! The filling is bringing back memories for a cookie my grandmother used to make with a similar filling. Lovely!!!

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  21. It's been hard to find the time to make bread but when I finally secure some, I'd like to make this. :)

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  22. Could I please have a dose of your weather...and then at least three slices of this lovely bread? It looks gorgeous. I've been craving walnuts (so good for the brain!) and I plan on making something like this over the weekend. Hugs and love, sweet friend.

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  23. Fresh baked walnut filled bread, warm Summer weather, fresh mangoes in your garden..this is a very inspiring and happy place to visit this morning! I have to try your special bread recipe-the filling just looks so good....Happy weekend Lora ;-)

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  24. Two days of spring? Aww. That stinks! I'm sorry. :(

    I'm happy that you shared this bread! It looks lovely. You always have the best breads!

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  25. Thank you for posting/sharing this recipe for Kalacs! My Mom & Grandma used to make these, and I never was able to learn of the recipe. They did ones w/ poppyseeds as well as cheese Mom said it was a type of farmers cheese but not like what we buy at the store. Most everything they did was out of their head not an actual recipe on paper. Cannot wait to make them~ =)

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  26. Thank you for posting/sharing this recipe for Kalacs! My Mom & Grandma used to make these, and I never was able to learn of the recipe. They did ones w/ poppyseeds as well as cheese Mom said it was a type of farmers cheese but not like what we buy at the store. Most everything they did was out of their head not an actual recipe on paper. Cannot wait to make them~ =)

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  27. This looks amazing, Lora! I love nut filled breads like this and I'm totally with you on using the kitchenaid mixer instead of my own arms to make the dough ;) What a wonderful family tradition to carry on every year. I'm super jealous of your mango and papaya trees. Your garden is beautiful! I have the thumb of death so even if I had a garden, I'd kill everything in sight.

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  28. This bread is fantastic Lora! It sounds wonderful and I love the gorgeous walnut filling. Lovely!

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  29. Oh Lora this looks wonderful!! I have some walnuts left in my cupboard and I kind of didn't know what to do with them. Well, problem solved!! :) Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe!!
    xox Amy

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  30. I would love a slice of this right now, with my morning coffee!!

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  31. How wonderful. We love bread in this family. It must heavenly to have a mango and papaya tree. I found your blog through Cheri's My Savory Spoon. I also wanted to share with you a new recipe generator for Bloggers on the Blogger platform. I just wrote a post about it. TheRecipesGenerator.blogspot.com

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  32. Oh wow, this looks amazing, I love homemade bread:)

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