Hungarian Yeast Rugelach

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Tzippora Kriezman’s Delights of the Jewish Kitchen delivered another winner: Folded-Dough Crescents (p. 134), otherwise known as Hungarian kipelach. These dairy-free rugelach are made from a yeast dough that is rolled and folded like puff pastry.

The result is a unbelievably flaky dough. The exterior is shatteringly crisp, with many thin, crunchy layers. The softer interior is reminiscent of danishes or croissants.

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The method of preparation is rather interesting: the yeast dough is prepared and roll out into three large 15″ circles. Then each circle is spread with a mixture of salted margarine and flour.

Ingredients for the yeast dough: 5 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 cake compressed yeast, 1 cup juice or seltzer, 2 eggs, 4 Tbl. sugar.
Margarine/flour mixture: 2 cups flour, 2 cups salted margarine

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Then you fold the dough. I found the instructions somewhat confusing, but here is what I did:

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The rolled dough packages are refrigerated for two hours. Then each of the three packages is cut in half to make six packages. Each of the six packages is rolled out and folded again. I gave each package a single fold, or a letter tri-fold to make a long rectangle. Then, I rolled up each rectangle from one short end to the other and flattened the roll to make a dough packet.

After another two hours of refrigeration, each blob of dough is rolled into a large 15″ circle and spread thinly with apricot jelly. The circle is cut up like a pizza pie into sixteen triangles, sprinkled with ground nuts and cinnamon sugar, and rolled up into crescents.

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The recipe called for putting a spoonful of ground nuts at the end so that the nut filling stays in the center, but I found this hard to do. I ended up sprinkling the nut mixture over the whole dough, so that it was evenly distributed in a spiral throughout the cookie. I also found that I had too much nut filling. Some of the crescents were spread with apricot ham and sprinkled with walnuts, and othere were spread with a red-currant jam and sprinkled with hazelnuts.

Filling: 3 1/2 cups ground walnuts, 1 3/4 cups sugar, zest 1 lemon, heaping Tbl. cinnamon (optional), 12 Tbl. jam

After filling and rolling, glaze crescents with beaten egg.

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Some issues: I found that the margarine/flour mixture was not thoroughly solid when I tried to roll it out. It was all gooshy and seeped out a little. Next time: refrigerate or maybe freeze until the margarine is harder. Also, I must remember to try to not develop the gluten of the dough when I combine the flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, and juice in the mixer, because this makes the dough harder to roll out.

But, these were really delicious, especially warm from the oven (375 degrees, 25 minutes).

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For a finishing touch, I sprinkled the rugelach with powdered sugar.

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I’m sending these yummy Eastern European yeast cookies over to YeastSpotting.

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14 Responses to “Hungarian Yeast Rugelach”

  1. Susan/Wild Yeast Says:

    Wow, these look amazing! Yeasted cookies, something new to try.

  2. YeastSpotting August 28, 2009 | Wild Yeast Says:

    [...] Hungarian Yeast Rugelach [...]

  3. pragmaticattic Says:

    Thanks, Susan!

  4. shaz Says:

    Wow, these look super tasty, I’ve never tried one before but I’m very interested now

  5. Mimi Says:

    I love rugelach so much and my current recipe is a cream cheese dough. It comes out a little flaky but yours!! I can’t believe how croissant-like they look! I have to try these!

  6. Hillary Says:

    Beautiful! You should submit these to our site!

  7. pragmaticattic Says:

    Shaz–these were really very flaky and not that hard. But, I bet they would be even better made with butter . . .
    Mimi–There is really no comparison in terms of flakiness with these rugelach and cream cheese rugelach. The cream cheese flavor, though, that is not here. I loove cream cheese rugelach.
    Hillary–thanks!

  8. Lena Says:

    Truly mouthwatering pastries! Would love to make them myself, but was confused by the original recipe from the Google book. Could you please provide a few clarifications on the ingredients used in making Dough 1?

    1) What was the weight of either the compressed fresh yeast or the dry yeast you used? Recipe recommends using ONE CAKE compressed yeast without specifying its weight (I guess it’s a known quantity in Israel where the book’s been published).

    2) What kind of juice should be used in preparing this dough?

    3) Looks like salt in the salted margarine is used to compensate for lack of salt in Dough 1. Very strange, but I guess it worked in your case. The pastries didn’t end up oversalted, right?

    Thanks in advance for your reply and for the recipe.

  9. pragmaticattic Says:

    Thanks for asking these questions Lena!

    From other recipes in the book, I deduced that the “cake of compressed yeast” equals 2 ounces fresh yeast or 2 packages dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast). I used instant yeast, and I used a Tablespoon. Acually, I made 2/3 of the recipe, so I used 2 teaspoons instant yeast, but a whole recipe would require 1 Tbl.

    In terms of juice, I used orange juice, but apple juice is often what is meant by “juice” in these recipes. Or you could use soda water (or probably just water).

    Yes, the salted margarine compensates for the lack of salt in the dough. And, no, the cookies are not too salty. You could use salted butter, too, I guess. I used a trans fat free margarine, which only comes salted.

    I hope this helps.

  10. hadass Says:

    These look amazing. I can’t tell u for how long I’ve been looking for the “right” rugelach. I’ve tried LOTS of recipes but these look promising. Only problem…where’s the recipe? Please don’t tell me I have to buy her book to get it.

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Hadass, try clicking the link for the folded dough crescents. It should lead to the page with the recipe in the google book version of the cookbook. If you have a problem, let me know.

  11. Three Doughs, Endless Possibilities: Grandma’s Rugelach « Pragmatic Attic Says:

    [...] above is actually a picture of Hungarian Yeast Rugelach, from a much earlier post. I don’t have a picture of the crescent shaped rugelach my grandmother A”H  favored. I [...]

  12. lisa Says:

    I have been looking for this recipe that is like my mother-in-law’s for years as I seem to not have copied hers down correctly. The outer package is always too gooeyl will try and get back to you. thanks

  13. Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites) | Pragmatic Attic Says:

    […] you want super-flaky yeast dough rugelach, take a look at this. If you want something easy to make and trans-fat free (no margarine!) that tastes like bite-sized […]

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