Introduction: Kalacs (Hungarian Sweet Bread)
No Hungarian Easter is complete without Kalacs! This sweet, egg bread is filled with walnuts, or poppy seeds (if that's how you roll but I never understood the whole poppy seed thing). The smell of this baking filled my grandmother's house during the holiday. But there is no reason to limit making Kalacs to a particular season. It also makes a great addition to a brunch menu or just as an accompaniment to your coffee or tea!
This specific recipe is taken from my family's cookbook, compiled in 1999. I made some minor edits to the attached page. For a couple more traditional dishes, see:
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
8 cups flour
1 1/2 pkg dry yeast
1 pint lukewarm milk
2 lbs walnuts (0.9 kgs), finely ground
3 cups sugar
Grated rind of one lemon
1 cup butter, melted
Materials and Tools
Food processor/chopper/coffee grinder - to grind nuts
Foil or parchment paper
Step 2: Make Dough
Measure liquid into pan. Blend in butter, sugar and salt. Warm over low heat to 120 - 130oF (49 - 54oC)
Measure half the flour into a mixing bowl and blend in dry yeast.
Pour warmed mixture into flour/yeast mixture. Add eggs one at a time, beating 1/2 minute at low speed between each. Scrap down sides of bowl. Switch mixer to high speed and continue beating for 3 minutes.
Gradually add white flour until a soft dough is formed. Set aside in war place to rise to about double in size.
- Divide dough into 5 parts
Step 3: Walnut Filling
After grinding the walnuts, simply but thoroughly, mix them with the sugar and lemon rind.
Step 4: Roll Out and Up
Roll out each portion to about 9" x 12" (23 x 30 cm) rectangle
Spread with two cups ground nuts
Drizzle melted butter over nuts
Roll up, folding under ends
Place on a foil lined baking pan
Let rest uncovered for about 20 minutes
Step 5: Brush and Bake
Brush entire loaf with beaten egg and bake at 350oF (180oC) about 30 - 35 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool, cut and serve.
Kalacs freezes really well, at least for 6 -8 weeks. So you can make a full recipe and keep a few loaves in the freezer for another occasion or unexpected company.