I have to confess I had several failed efforts, but finally I was able to develop the recipe for the Hungarian sweet braid we call fonott kalács. The best part of this recipe you don’t need cake yeast for it to work and it will still taste like the real thing. I brushed it with a vanilla glaze and topped it with dry blueberries, but this is optional. I took a slice hot out of the oven and I found it absolutely delicious. After I let it cool I placed the remaining braid into an unused plastic bag. I had a slice with my coffee this morning and it was just as soft and delicious as yesterday. Next I will be experimenting with Jewish challah to see if that is better. It doesn’t have to be of course, but we shall see. For sure I am keeping this recipe.
1/3 +1 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
3-1/2 tsp dry instant dry yeast
2+1 cups flour
1/8 cup sugar
2 pinches of salt
2+1 egg yolk
1/4 cup butter
• In the microwave heat 1/3 cup milk to lukewarm.
• Add 1 Tbsp sugar and the instant yeast. Set aside
• As the yeast proofs measure out the remaining ingredients:
• Put 2 cups of flour in a large bowl and set it aside.
• Add 1 cup of flour to a small bowl and set it aside.
• In the microwave heat 1 cup of milk to lukewarm.
• Add 1/8 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 egg yolks to the lukewarm milk.
• Whisk to combine and set it aside.
• Slightly melt the butter and set it aside.
• Add the yeast mixture to the 2 cups of flour in the large bowl.
• Combine with a wooden spoon.
• Place the dough inside the microwave and shut the door.
• Let dough rise until doubled in size.
• Remove risen dough from the microwave and gradually add the milk and egg mixture while beating with a wooden spoon to combine.
• Gradually add the slightly melted butter and beat to combine.
• Finally add the remaining 1 cup of flour and beat to combine.
• Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed.
• Kneed dough until large holes is visible when you cut into it.
• Put the dough back in the large bowl and set it inside the microwave to rise.
• When dough is doubled, braid the dough and place it on a greased cooking sheet.
• Brush the top with the remaining egg yolk and let it rise.
• When the braid has doubled in size, turn the oven to 400F.
• Bake the braid in the oven until nicely browned on the top.
• Remove from the oven. This recipe makes one large braid.