I’m finally finding the time to catch up on a few recipes I made in these last months. This kalács (Hungarian nut roll)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.
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.
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.
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
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