Kalács: Hungarian Bread

December 2, 2012

This bread is kind of a swirly, semi-sweet loaf with either poppy seeds or cinnamon and nuts rolled in. Kalács is traditionally braided, but this version is easy–you just have to roll it. I adapted this recipe from Bridget’s family cookbook, a scrapbook of favorite recipes lovingly compiled by her dear friend Bess. Bridget’s mother, Roe, is of Hungarian descent, so there are many Hungarian classics besides Kalács (pronounced Kal-ach) in the book. This bread is usually served at Easter, but it’s spicy and buttery enough for winter holidays too.

I used whole white flour, so my bread is a little denser than it would be with a regular white flour. To make two loaves, you can easily double the recipe and then split the dough.

Enjoy with butter!


• 2 cups flour
• 1/4 pound butter
• 2 large egg yolks
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
• 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm milk.
In a bowl, mix dry ingredients, add the butter in small chunks, and mix it in with your hands until you get a coarse mixture (see picture).
Add milk-yeast mixture and beaten egg yolks to the dry ingredients.
Work dough until smooth and form into a round ball. Let stand for 10 minutes and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.
At this point, spread crushed nuts and cinnamon or poppy seeds over the dough.
Roll up the bread, place on a parchment or well buttered pan, and let rise for two hours in a warm spot (under the oven light).
Brush the top with a beaten egg (this is optional)
Bake at 375°F for about 40 minutes.

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