Hungary – Beigli

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I’ve been in Paris the last few days, and have gladly eaten many cakes and pastries and now I want to learn to bake elaborate things that look attractive and taste incredible (this may be a post-Brexit baking adventure, so watch this space). If you find yourself in Paris I highly recommend you visit Pain Pain, which has the most beautiful pastries, and Berthillon, which is one of the oldest glaciers in Paris, and they make the most gloriously creamy ice cream.

Before I went away though, I made some Hungarian beigli. Traditionally, beigli comes in two flavours, walnut and poppy seed, but as we were about to go away I decided it might not be best to make a ton of cake. After giving them to Oscar for him to share with his colleagues, he returned from work to tell me that eating poppy seeds can cause you to test positive on a drug test, so don’t eat these if you’re going to do that.

IMG_6167tTo my surprise, I managed to roll them well enough that they didn’t fall apart, although I didn’t quite manage the Hungarian aesthetic of having the dough and filling of equal width. These are traditionally made at Christmas, so these could be another one to make when it is the season, rather than a season that is increasingly depressingly like that season.

Next week, Ireland, where I’ll catch up on some of the Brexit stuff that’s been going on, because that Irish border sure is getting a lot of discussion.

This post is part of a series called ‘Brexit Baking’, where I bake my way around all 28 EU Member States. You can read more about it here.IMG_6170tPoppy seed beigli (recipe from here)

500g plain flour
175g butter
40g sugar
1 tbsp sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp of rum
10g fast action dried yeast
50ml warm milk
1 egg, separated and beaten to brush on rolls (yolk first, then white)

For the poppy seed filling:
300g ground poppy seeds (you can grind poppy seeds in a clean spice/coffee grinder with about 3-4tbsp sugar so it doesn’t stick together)
200g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
50g raisins, processed or chopped to a paste
1 ½ tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons of apricot jam
100ml milk
Cherry jam for spreading on dough

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, butter, sugar, salt, and rub together until you have a crumb-like mixture.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the milk, rum, yeast and egg. Mix until smooth.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixutre, and knead until you get a smooth dough. Stop as soon as the dough becomes uniform.
  4. Divide the dough into two, cover, and leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  5. Prepare the filling. Add the sugar to the milk in a pan, and warm through (do not boil), remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Divide filling in two, to fill each roll.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C. Once the dough has rested, roll out into an even rectangle of dough, about 0.5cm thick. Make sure it is not too long to fit on a baking sheet once rolled up (mine were about 30cm long).
  7. Spread a thin layer of cherry jam on the dough. Now spread the poppy seed filling uniformly on the rectangle of dough, leaving 0.5cm free around the edges. The dough and filling should be approximately equal thickness.
  8. Fold the edges over the filling and press down, on all four sides. 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.
  9. Brush the beigli with the egg yolk. Let it dry. Then brush with egg white. Let it dry.
  10. Put the rolls on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 mins, then lower the heat to 190C, and bake for another 15 mins until golden and the beigli are firm to the touch. Leave to cool before slicing.
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