Since Christmas is almost here, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and share one of the most popular Christmas recipes with you – Hungarian style. 🙂 If you would like to surprise your families with a special Christmas cake or you feel adventurous, give it a go – I can guarantee it’s delicious!
◈ 1 kg white flour
◈ 200 g butter
◈ 150 g lard
◈ 80 g sugar
◈ 3 tablespoons of sour cream
◈ 1 egg
◈ 10 g fresh yeast, started in 1 dl warm milk
◈ pinch of salt
In one bowl, combine flour, butter, lard, sugar, salt, and crumble them together.In another bowl, mix together milk, yeast and egg. Mix until smooth.Pour the liquids into the solids, and knead until you get a smooth dough. Do not overknead! Stop as soon as the dough becomes uniform.Once the dough is smooth, divide it into 4 equal parts, roll them up into balls, cover with cling wrap and let them rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Ingredients for the filling for 4 rolls:
◈ 300-350 g ground walnuts OR 300-350 g of ground poppy seeds, depending on which roll you’re making (we usually make 2 rolls of each one)
◈ 150 g sugar (adjust to your taste)
◈ 2 lemons
◈ vanilla extract
◈ rum extract
◈ ground cinnamon
◈ 1 l milk
Mix the ground walnuts (or the poppy seed – whichever you are making) with the other spices in a saucepan, and add enough milk to make a thick paste. Add the zest (scraped off rind) and juice of one lemon. Don’t make the filling runny, or it will leak out of the dough later. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring continuously and carefully to avoid burning! Set aside to cool. (Alternatively, you can mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and boil the milk separately, then douse the dry stuff with the milk. Just be careful to achieve a thick consistency.) Remember: each of the two types of filling (walnut and poppy seed) will fill TWO rolls, to make a total of four at the end. So divide your walnut filling into two portions and your poppy seed filling into two portions.
Once the dough has been well rested in the fridge, use a rolling pin to create an even rectangle of dough. The width should be the width of the cookie sheet in your oven and make sure the thickness is even. Now spread the filling on the rectangle of dough, making sure to leave a quarter of an inch free around the edges. Fold the edges over the filling and press down on all four sides and roll up the dough along the longer side. Make holes in the top with a fork to let steam escape. This will help to keep the rolls from splitting along the top. Spread egg yolk on the top of the beigli with a brush. Let it dry. Then spread egg white on top of the beigli. Let it dry.
Put the rolls on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper. Put them in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 190C, and bake until golden and the beigli are firm to the touch, which is approximately an additional 15 minutes. So total baking time should be around 30 minutes, but this of course depends on your oven, on the thickness of your beigli, etc. Once they are done, wait for them to cool before slicing and serving.
Do let me know if you decide to give it a go! 🙂 And I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! 🙂 See you after the holidays xxx