I am sitting under the christmas tree at my grandmother’s house in a little Hungarian village and cannot help but share the next recipe with you: mákos kalács (milk loaf with poppy seeds).
Bejgli is a centuries-old traditional Hungarian pastry for christmas. It is a roll filled with poppy seeds or nuts, both simbolizing prosperity. Mákos kalács differs slightly in the dough, yet I prefer this one to bejgli, as it is softer and easier to veganize. The dough I use is similar to the one I used for the kürtöskalács, you may remember.
HUNGARIAN MILK LOAF WITH POPPY
Ingredients (for 2 big rolls):
- 25 g of fresh yeast
- 80 g of sugar (I prefer brown sugar)
- 1/2 l of lukewarm vegan milk
- a pinch of salt
- 125 g of margarine
- 2 tbsp of oil (any oil with a neutral taste)
- about 700g of flour (depends on how much you need to get a bread-like dough)
- 4 cups of grout poppy seeds
- 1.5 cups of powdered sugar (depends really on how sweet you like it)
- 1 glass/2-3 cups of sour cherries (Optional, yet I love to eat poppy seeds with cherries. You might as well add grated apples or lemon skin.)
- 4 tbsp of milk
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- a pinch of curcuma (you may add a little curcuma also to the dough, to give it some colour)
Preparation time: 2 hours (with leavening and baking)
Heat the milk (but it shouldn’t be too warm) and dissolve the yeast in it. Mix it with sugar and a pinch of salt. Now add the flour (about 500g first), the soft margarine and the oil. Kneed it well and keep adding flour if necessary. Put it to a warm place and let it leaven for an hour.
Cut the dought into two parts and extend each of them into squares. The dough should be about 1/2 cm or a bit thicker. Sprinkle the poppy seed-sugar mixture on the top and add some cherries randomly. Some like to cook a cream and fill the dough with that. I find it unnecessary, as after baking it the filling becomes creamy anyway.
Leave the two rolls leavening in a pan for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (C) and bake it for about 40 minutes. When it is almost ready, I glaze it with the mixture of milk and sugar, to make it shiney.