Hungarian Beigli For The Holidays
Hungarian beigli is a delicious walnut roll pastry that I learned about from my husband's family when we met back in high school. His mom makes this every year for the Christmas season. Around the holidays and in the winter months I get home sick for friends and family and foods I grew up with! This year I decided to try to make beigli to satisfy my own craving and to pass along the tradition to my son.
Make sure to check out this other yummy Hungarian dessert - How To Make Gomboc.
Gather ingredients. I accidentally used self-rising flour in the photo, but this recipe actually calls for all purpose flour. My mother-in-laws recipe also calls for dark rum to be used in the filling. Those who don't wish to use rum can substitute a bit more milk.
Prep walnuts. To save time, you can purchase walnuts that are already crushed. I however, took the laborious route and smashed mine. My little wanted to get in. Don't worry I was watching him near that big knife!
Make the filling. Heat the milk, sugar, egg, vanilla, and rum in a saucepan until the sugar and yolks dissolve and the mixture has a syrupy consistency. Add the chopped walnuts and stir to combine. Remove the saucepan from the heat; and let filling cool. In my mother-in-law's recipe, she does not heat the filling ingredients. Her filling is more moist. In future, I would do the carmelized version and then add some milk before adding the filling to the dough. I liked the toasty taste, but felt it was more dry than I'm used to.
Make the dough. Combine the 5 tablespoons sugar, butter, egg yolks, and sour cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade and process well. Add the flour and yeast and process until the dough comes together. If the dough feels too wet, add a little more flour; if it's too dry, add milk a tablespoon at a time. The dough should be moist and easy to work with.
Shape the dough into 3 balls, cover with a damp towel, and set aside.
Roll one piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface to form a long rectangle about a 1/4-inch thick; keep the remaining dough covered.
Spread 1/3 of the walnut filling on the dough, leaving about an inch of dough at each edge.
Roll the dough up to form a log, and press to seal. Place the dough, seam-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Make egg wash. Beat the egg with the tablespoon of milk or water to make an egg wash. Brush the loaves with egg wash and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
Prep for baking. After the dough has risen, brush it again with egg wash and put the baking tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (this will give the dough a shiny finish).
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bake the loaves until they're a deep golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.
This pastry tastes great with coffee or tea any time of day. Make it for a brunch or other event. I made some to give to neighbors as gifts during the holidays.
While I was looking at various recipes online, I saw that many people make this pastry for Easter. I would happily eat this anytime of year, but it will always be associated with Christmas in my mind.
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Hungarian Beigli For The Holidays
For the dough
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
For the filling
- 2 large wooden spoonfuls whole milk
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 lbs finely chopped walnuts
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 caps or approximately 1/8 dark rum
For the egg wash
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- To save time, buy crushed walnuts.