The most popular Christmas pastry in Hungary is beigli. Traditionally it comes in two flavors, walnut and poppy seed. It's become fashionable to make it with chestnut or some type of fruit filling. But walnut and poppy seed fillings will endure. Folklore says that the walnut is protection against bad magic and poppy seeds bring wealth to the home where beigli is served.  Every family has its own beigli recipe, I only recently I got a hold of my mom’s, but since I have been making beigli for nearly half a century myself, I am reluctant to mess with tradition. Because of the work involved, most people make more beigli than needed. As a result everywhere in Hungary people are encouraged to sample the leftover beigli... sometimes well past the New Year. With each bite you compare the flavour, the softness and the butteriness of the fillings... which incidentally deteriorates as the days pass. But ten to one, everyone holds onto the belief that one's own beigli is vastly superior to everyone else's. Bakery beigli tends to be expensive and is often a source of disappointment. That's because bakeries sneak breadcrumbs into the walnut filling, in fact there are recipes around with breadcrumbs in the filling. I am not being immodest by saying my beigli is the best! 


9-1/2 cups unsifted flour
2-1/3 cups soft butter
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs slightly beaten
1-1/2 cups lukewarm milk
5-1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup dark rum

1 egg white for glazing
beigli fillings - click on the link

• Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in milk.
• Sprinkle with yeast, let stand 5 minutes.
• Meanwhile measure the flour by the 1/2 cup scoop-and-sweep method into a very large mixing bowl.
• Add the soft butter and rub into the flour until the butter is uniformly distributed throughout. uniform.
• Next add the sugar and lemon zest and combine.
• Finally add the eggs, yeast mix and the rum and form a dough.
• Kneed the dough on a board for full 10 minutes.
• Divide the dough into 5 rounds.
• Cover and let it rest in a cool place overnight. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

• Next day, bring the dough rounds to room temperature.
• Meanwhile prepare the fillings.
• Roll the first round into a rectangle.
• Spread with 1/3 of the walnut filling, leaving 1 cm edge all around.
• Tuck in both ends and loosely roll up in jellyroll fashion.
• Repeat with other rounds, making 3 walnuts, 2 poppy seed rolls.
• Place on greased cookie sheets without touching.
• Glaze the tops with beaten egg white.
• Chill for 1/2 hour.
• Poke sides with fork, to prevent filling spilling out.
• Glaze with beaten egg whites again for marbleized effect.
• Place in a preheated 350F oven.
• Reduce heat to 325F immediately.
• As rolls begin to get color, reduce to 300F.
• Bake for 45-60 minutes until golden brown.



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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!