Beigli! Mmmm!

Swirls. I’m a big fan of them. I like the swirl of park benches and chimney smoke. I’m fond of swirly signatures, too. When I doodle, I make swirlies. But my favorite swirl of all is a Hungarian one. And the best part is that you can eat it. This delectable swirl can be found in the center of the most famous Hungarian Christmas pastry called beigli. Beigli commonly comes in two types: poppy seed and walnut. Most Hungarians couldn’t imagine Christmas without it.

beigli4Today in Budapest we’re having our first snow of the year. As the snowflakes swirl outside my window, I think I’m going to try making my very first beigli. It’s the perfect weather for it. If you’d like to join me, here’s the recipe. Happy swirling!

For the dough: 1 tsp sugar; 1/2 cup/120 ml milk; 1 cake/15 g compressed yeast; 1/3 cup/50 g confectioners’ sugar; 3 1/4 cups/500 g flour; 6 1/2 tbsp/100 g butter; 6 1/2 tbsp/100 g lard; 2 eggs; 1 tsp grated lemon zest; pinch of salt; 1 sachet of vanilla sugar

Beigli2For the poppy seed filling: scant 1/2 cup/100 ml milk; 1 1/4 cups/250 g confectioners’ sugar; 1 sachet of vanilla sugar; 1 2/3 cups/250 g ground poppy seeds; 3 tbsp/30 g raisins; 1 tsp grated lemon zest; 4 tbsp honey

Directions: Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm milk, then add the yeast. Mix the remaining dough ingredients with the yeast mixture and knead thoroughly. Cover the dough with a dish towel and leave to rise for about 30 minutes. For the poppy seed filling, mix the milk with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla sugar. Bring to a boil and add the poppy seeds and raisins. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and Beigli1honey. Divide the dough into four and roll out each piece into a rectangle measuring about 12 x 14 inches/30 x 35 cm. Spread the filling on the dough and roll up lengthwise, ensuring that the rolls remain firm. Grease the bking sheet and carefully transfer the rolls onto the sheet and brush with egg yolk. Bake in a preheated (medium) oven until golden brown. Only remove from the oven when completely cool. If kept covered and stored in a cool, dry place, the beigli will stay fresh for a long time. Slice just before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

5 thoughts on “Beigli! Mmmm!

  1. I never let the Beigli cool down in de oven. I remove it from the oven when it’s ready. If you want to get the effect of marmer on the cake, you have to brush first with egg yolk, let it dry, then with the egg white. Let it dry too and then bake it in the oven ;)

  2. Hi. Could you give me some advice how to make non bursting beigli please? Is it related to how much I knead? or do I need to let it rise the dough more or less? I put it in oven 180 degree but it still burst. Thank you.

  3. I made a nut roll once on a large cutting board my grandfather made and my grandmother used. Then my husband put it on an electric stove burner and turned the burner on by accident and burned a hole in the board. I was so upset because it was from my deceased hungarian grandparents.

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