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.
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)
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?
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
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.
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