[Koror, Palau; 07 20.4' N / 134 27.2'E]

"Tropical Variation" added May 26, 2016

Beigli is a Hungarian sweet bread that my grandmother Elizabeth Toth Csiki used to make during the holidays.   It was a special treat that everyone in the family anticipated.  I never knew its Hungarian name (or had a recipe) until we met Volker of the yacht La Gitana who is a German of Hungarian ethnicity.  He too remembered the bread fondly and he and Michaela kindly sourced a few recipes for me.   Beigli is sweet and has many varieties of fillings, the most common of which are poppy seeds (mkos) and walnuts (dis) which were the same fillings my grandmother used.

 

Source: www.thehungariangirl.com (et al)

Their notes:  in this version, the rolls are made from yeast dough which gives them a rich, moist texture. You can choose to add your choice of filling but be careful not to overfill them as they tend to spill out during the baking process.

Dough

1 cup (250 ml) of warm water
2 packages (16 grams) of active dry yeast
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (115 grams) sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups (470 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour, plus extra for kneading

Poppy Seed Filling

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/4 cup (50 grams) superfine sugar
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) poppy seeds, ground
6 tbsp (60 grams) raisins
1 tsp grated lemon zest
5 tbsp honey

Walnut Filling

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/4 cup (50 grams) superfine sugar
1- 1/2 cup (350 grams) walnuts, coarsely ground
6 tbsp (60 grams) raisins
1 tsp grated lemon zest
5 tbsp honey

Other

1 egg for glazing with 1 tbsp of water

Method

Using a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand until foamy for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the melted butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Mix until incorporated.

Add the flour, 1 cup at a time while mixing with a wooden spoon. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic for about 5 -7 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk for about 1 1/2 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the poppy seed or walnut filling; add the milk with the sugar. Bring to a boil and add the filling of your choice along with the raisins. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and honey. Allow filling to cool before using.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll out each piece into a rectangle measuring about 14 x 12 inches. Spread the dough with the nut or poppy seed filling leaving a margin of at least an inch on all edges. Roll up lengthwise, ensuring the rolls remain tight and firm.

Cover rolls with a cloth and let it rise again, 45 60 minutes.

Carefully transfer the rolls onto the baking sheet. Brush rolls with egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow rolls to cool.

Notes:

- Ensure to spread filling evenly on dough while leaving a margin of at least an inch on all edges.

- To obtain a golden brown color, brush rolls with 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp of water before baking in the oven.

- Slice just before serving and arrange slices like roof tiles on a plate.

Leslie's Notes:

Dough:  Liquid (half-and-half) water and kefir fermented milk.  Reduce eggs to two and sugar (brown) to 1/4 c.  Butter halved and remaining fat from sunflower oil.  Flour added until dough just pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball.

Filling:  The very first time I tried this (in the Philippines at Chrismas 2014) I could not source poppy seeds or walnuts.  My filling was:

kefir fermented milk

honey

brown sugar

1 Tb concentrate of passion fruit & mangosteen

ground pecans

raw flax seed

the zest from one whole small lemon

 

Tropical Variation

 

1/2 cup kefir fermented milk

4-5 Tbsp honey

zest of one whole small lemon

~ 1 1/2 cups of a mixture of chopped

    apricots

    dried mangoes

    dried bananas

    dried cranberries

    raisins

    dried papaya

    pecans

    almonds

The filling was cooked until it began to thicken and then cooled to room temperature (while preparing and allowing the dough to rise).   Volker and Michaela gave my beigli a thumbs-up even with this unusual filling.  I encourage you to experiment too!

Be careful not to over-bake it, it bakes surprisingly fast.