DH and his brother call this kalacs but I think beigli is the correct moniker for these nut or poppy seed rolls. Since DH does not like poppy seeds (or raisins or coconut milk or olives…aiyiyi what a list) I made the traditional walnut beigli and then made up an almond paste variety.
I had to refer to 3 different cookbooks to piece together the recipe but DH and BIL seemed to approve. I will ignore the comment that DH made about drizzling chocolate on top as that seems to be his way of annoying me. I have to say I lost control of one of the rolls because it had proofed for too long (I had to feed our newborn) and the dough stretched too much when I transferred it to the pan. Regardless, it still turned out beautifully even if didn’t look perfect. So, the recipe is forgiving.
I am including the recipe for the walnut beigli as my almond paste creation needs some work.
Hungarian Walnut (Dios) Beigli
180 ml (3/4 c) whole milk, lukewarm
50 g confectioner's sugar
2 pkg active dry yeast
500 g white unbleached all-purpose flour
250 g butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
3 eggs plus 1 egg white
pinch of salt
Nut filling (enough for 4 rolls):
200 ml whole milk
200 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
6 Tbsp raisins, optional
pinch of cinnamon
6 Tbsp honey
6 cups ground walnuts (I used a combination of walnuts and pecans)
In a small bowl, add a small amount of the milk to the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar and let sit until frothy.
In a medium bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the butter pieces are no larger than pea-sized. Empty bowl out onto a clean work surface, create a well in the center and add 2 of the eggs (lightly beaten), the yeast mixture, the remaining sugar and salt. Mix in the liquid ingredients with the flour using your hands and gradually add enough milk to just bring the dough together. Knead briefly to achieve a smooth dough that does not stick to the counter top. Cover with a cheesecloth and let rest for 2 hours.
In the meantime, make your nut filling:
Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to a low boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Cool slightly
Divide dough into 4 portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll out dough into a 12x14" rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread 1/4 of the nut filling over surface of dough leaving a 1/2" border around all edges. Fold over each edge about 1/2 " to encase the filling and then roll the dough very tightly into a log. Carefully transfer the rolls onto a parchment-lined pan (2 rolls to a half sheet pan) and brush the surface with a lightly beaten whole egg. Let rest for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375F a half hour into the final proofing time. Pierce the tops of the rolls in several places with a fork to allow the release of steam. Brush the rolls with beaten egg white and let sit for another 10-15 minutes to let the egg white dry.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until deep brown. Let cool before slicing. Slice just before serving and wrap remaining rolls tightly with saran wrap.