Kalács: Hungarian Bread

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.