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This recipe is the first one that introduces you to the wonderful world of traditional Hungarian pastry called "kifli." These crescent-shaped delights are fun to bake and enjoy. Full disclosure - I did not get the shapes right at this first attempt, but I promise I will improve, as I will be baking these many-many times.





Kifli is a pastry that holds a special place in Hungarian culinary traditions. Its soft, flaky texture and enticing aroma have become a beloved treat for locals and visitors alike. What makes kifli so intriguing is the wide variety of flavors and fillings that can be incorporated into these crescent-shaped wonders. From sweet pastries to savory bread-like rolls, the options are endless.



Today, we will explore the basic recipe for a 'magical,' sweet walnut-filled kifli. I am not sure why it is called magical, but this pastry is known as 'csodakifli' or magical kifli. This particular recipe comes from another colleague of my Mom, Elvira. What I love about this recipe collection is that each is sourced from family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. When I look at the names, I remember long-lost memories and think about these people. Hopefully, their legacy lives with you when baking this pastry.


I assure you that there are many more exciting kifli variations to discover. So let's start creating some mouthwatering kiflis!


Kiflis are irresistible! The flaky and buttery pastry combined with your chosen fillings will create a harmonious symphony of flavors. Whether you prefer the sweetness of jam, walnut and chocolate or the savory delights of cheese and ham, each bite will transport you to the culinary wonders of Hungary. This recipe I baked with a traditional walnut filling.


Don't forget to share these delightful kiflis with your family and friends. They make a perfect accompaniment to a cozy brunch or a lovely addition to a dessert table. So, get creative with your fillings and explore the endless possibilities of kiflis. I hope you enjoy today's recipe and are inspired to try baking these delicious kiflis. I baked these yesterday for my friend's birthday. She and her family loved them. So happy baking and Jó Étvágyat!


Explore the photo gallery to find inspiration and follow the step-by-step process.





I thought I would publish the recipe here in English for those who don't read cursive or Hungarian or need the additional instructions the recipe description lacks.


INGREDIENTS

250 gr unbleached all-purpose flour

100 gr unsalted butter (or lard)

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp rum (optional)

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar

~1/2 cup of sour cream

~1/4 cup melted butter

Filling: walnut, jam, poppy seed, chestnut, or anything your heart desires!


For the walnut filling I used:

4 egg whites, beaten until stiff

200 gr ground walnut

100 gr icing sugar




DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, then add enough sour cream to make a smooth, soft dough. Divide it into two smaller balls.

  2. Roll out each ball into as thin layer as you are able. Then brush entire surface with melted butter. Dust with a small amount of flour (just take a pinch of flour and spread it over the rolled out surface)

  3. Roll up the pastry and let the rolls rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (This is where Mom's recipe ends, the rest is somethig to know.. :)

  4. Preheat oven to 375F.

  5. Prepare your filling if needed. (i.e. if you use jam, or nutella, you will just scoop it, no need for preparation). Mix ground walnut with icing sugar, then fold beaten egg whites until mixed.

  6. After the rolls rested, cut the pastries into small balls.

  7. One ball at the time, roll the little dough balls into a thin fat diamond, or ice cream cone shape. (See photos.)

  8. Place a spoonful of filling and roll it up starting from the top and if you can curve it into a crescent. (Mine were more just rolls, but as I said, will improve.)

  9. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake until golden in colour.

  10. When it is out of the oven, roll crescents into icing sugar and arrange on a plate.


Let me know how it worked! Scroll through the pictures or reach out if you have any questions. Jó étvágyat!





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When I was growing up in Hungary, long before chips and popcorn became the reigning snack kings in movie theatres, a delightful duo stole the show: the pogácsa and the perec. Hopefully, you have read about a pogácsa already. If not, please try them, as they are delicious. More pogácsa recipes will be featured, as Mom had many of those in her recipe book.





These golden-brown delights held a special place in the hearts of moviegoers, offering a satisfying crunch and a touch of savory goodness to accompany the silver screen magic. While pogácsa, a Hungarian pastry, shared the limelight with its pretzel counterpart, it was the pretzel that genuinely captured the imaginations of cinema enthusiasts. Twisted into a classic knot and dotted with salt paste, the pretzel's satisfyingly crisp exterior and soft, chewy interior made it the go-to snack for indulging in cinematic adventures. Other fond memories come from having perec in the Zoo, or in the Vidámpark (amusement park).



For quite some time, my mother had held onto this cherished recipe she received from her colleague, Maca, a nickname for Maria, the Hungarian rendition of Mary. Maca's mother was an exceptional home-baker, especially for family gatherings and company potluck events. Maca would request her mother's expertise and bring delightful creations on such occasions. Mom's recipe book contains numerous other culinary treasures shared by Maca. I recall countless baking sessions where we diligently prepared tray after tray of Perec for our family gatherings. Mom and I even pulled an all-nighter to ensure enough pretzels for everyone when we gathered to celebrate my nephew's baptism.




Presented here is yet another recipe that relies on the baker's intuition and experience regarding precise directions. The recipe commences by listing the required ingredients and their mixing instructions, but then comes the daunting moment: the infamous line of "incorporating a good quantity of lukewarm water to achieve a nokedli dough." This line really means mixing with enough water to create a soft, sticky dough that is easily bendable but thick in consistency. But what is 'enough water'..


Explore the photo gallery to find inspiration and follow the step-by-step process.







I thought I would publish the recipe here in English for those who don't read cursive or Hungarian or need the additional instructions the recipe description lacks.


INGREDIENTS

600 gr unbleached all-purpose flour divided

150 gr lard (many older Hungarian recipes use fat but can substitute it with margarine)

2 tsp dried yeast

2 tsp sugar

One egg

~1 cup of lukewarm water


Egg wash:

One egg


Salt paste:

2 tbsp salt

3 tbsp flour

water


DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix 300gr of flour in a bowl with sugar and the yeast. Add enough lukewarm water to make a thick, sticky dough. Place the bowl in a warm place and let it rise until it doubles.

  2. Meanwhile, measure 300gr of flour into another large bowl. Then using a pastry blender cut the lard (or margarine) into the flour. Continue cutting until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Let it rest until the other dough rises.

  3. After the first dough doubles, mix the two doughs and knead them together until smooth ball forms. Divide that into four smaller balls, cover, and set aside to rise until they double.

  4. Take one ball and divide it into 16 pieces.

  5. Roll each piece into a long rope-like shape. Take the ropes, braid them into a pretzel, and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with all pieces, then move to the next ball. (I experimented with dividing the first two dough balls into 16 pieces, then the second two into 8 pieces, yielding to larger pretzels)

  6. Let the pretzels rise in the trays for twenty minutes.

  7. Preheat oven to 375F.

  8. Whisk the egg in a small bowl.

  9. After 20 minutes of rising, brush the pretzels with egg wash.

  10. Place the pretzels in the oven and bake to a light golden hue.

  11. Meanwhile, prepare the Salt paste: In a small bowl, combine the salt and the flour. Add hot water to make a paste (that has sour cream consistency) that can be drizzled on the pretzels.

  12. Remove the pretzels from the oven when they are slightly underbaked and sprinkle the pretzels with the salt wash.

  13. Place back in the oven and bake for 4-6 more minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.


Let me know how it worked! Scroll through the pictures or reach out if you have any questions. Jó étvágyat!





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Welcome to my next culinary adventure in my cozy kitchen. Today, I am sharing a recipe that brought a touch of sweetness to my friend's birthday celebration.


Here is 'Bukta,' a delightful jam-filled pastry. (Pronounced as 'book-ta'). As I flipped through the book's pages, I stumbled upon a recipe scribbled as a special note tucked away between the pages. When I read the recipe, I remembered the bliss of sinking my teeth into a warm, freshly baked pastry generously filled with a luscious, fruity jam. It's a treat that can make any occasion feel extra special. Knowing my friend's love for apricot jam, I surprised him on his special day.







I will take you step by step through creating this pastry, but I wanted to share some of its history before that. I didn't find a quotable source on its origin. Some food blogs indicate that this pastry has been around in central Europe since ancient times as a stuffed pastry that afforded practical food transportation in shepherds' pockets.


I believe that the true joy of cooking lies not only in the final product but also in the process itself—the shared moments, the delightful aromas, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something from scratch. All of these recipes bring back memories. I hope you like to read about those.


'Bukta' brings back memories of summers, preserving large baskets of apricots to make delicious jam for the winter. As this recipe needs a thicker jam, the best time to bake bukta is when you want to finish up the older jars to make room for the new jam. The older jams would be thicker, making them more suitable for the filling.


'Bukta' is an all-time favorite in Hungary. Its dough is flaky, filled with jam, and remains deliciously fresh even the next day. Traditionally, the filling is apricot or plum jam, but you can also bake chocolate or cottage cheese variations.


So, let's gather our ingredients, roll up our sleeves, and bake a jam-filled pastry that will bring smiles to faces. For those who don't read cursive, I thought I will publish the recipe here in English.


INGREDIENTS

350 ml whole milk (lukewarm)

2.5 tsp active dry yeast (1 pack)

½ tsp icing sugar

500 gr flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

90 gr unsalted butter (room temperature)


For Filling:

Your favourite jam. (Mom always made it with apricot jam. I bought 3 different brands of jams to figure which works the best. No clear winner, but I suggest the 'Bonne Maman' jams.)


For Brushing:

120 gr melted unsalted butter


DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the milk until lukewarm (can’t be hot otherwise it kills the yeast). Sprinkle the yeast on top w the sugar and let it stand until the liquid rises and is bubbly (for about 10 minutes). (Mom wrote 35 ml milk, which seemed just not enough. I checked several recipes and they seemed to have agreed on 350 ml.)

  2. Mix all other ingredients. If making the dough by hand, stir everything together with a wooden spoon, until the dough gathers. Mix/beat the dough for 5 minutes. (Send curious dog away.)

  3. Cover with cloth, and et the dough rest for 15 minutes.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it briefly to make sure it is nice and smooth and soft. Place the dough in a bowl and let it raise in a warm place for 35 minutes. (If you are scrolling through the photos, you will see that I had to change bowls, as the first one did not fit into my warming drawer.)

  5. After it rested, roll the dough out on the lightly floured surface, then cut it up into smaller rectangles. (You may need to experiment what size rectangles are the best for the size of Bukta you want. I ended up with 17 pieces. After the first row of 5, I realized that the rectangles needed to be slightly larger, so re-rolled and re-cut the rest.)

  6. Place a spoon full of jam filling onto the rectangles. Roll up each piece in a way that stops the filling from spilling out. (This needs a bit of practice. As you will make it, you will see why a slightly harder jam is better.) Place bukta seam-side down on deep baking sheet. Leave room between the pieces. Brush pieces with melted butter and let them raise for another 15 minutes.

  7. Preheat oven to 375F (convection bake) or adjust temp according to your oven.

  8. Bake in oven for about 25 mins or until golden.

  9. When cooled down, dust Buktas with icing sugar.


Let me know how it worked! Jó étvágyat!





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