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.
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
Then you fold the dough. I found the instructions somewhat confusing, but here is what I did:
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.
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.
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).
For a finishing touch, I sprinkled the rugelach with powdered sugar.
I’m sending these yummy Eastern European yeast cookies over to YeastSpotting.