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Hungarian Baked Goods - Kenyer, Kalacs, Kifli and Pogacsa
Kenyer, Kalacs, Kifli and Pogacsa
It is not always easy to translate Hungarian words into English since there may not be a direct one-to-one conversion. This is not the case with kenyer (bread) and kifli (crescent rolls) although there are many different varieties of kifli in Hungary. Kalacs is another case completely.
Kalacs can take on many different forms in Hungary although they are always yeast breads made with milk. Sometimes they are braided and resemble French brioche or Jewish challah. Other times they are flatter and contain raisins or dried fruit and resemble American coffeecakes or German strudels.
There is even one version called kurtoskalacs (chimney cake), where the dough is rolled around logs and baked over an open fire.
Pogascak are another example since they can resemble rolls made with yeast dough or biscuits made with yeast or baking powder and they can be sweet or savory. One version is similar to American baking powder biscuits or British scones.
I will try to explain the differences and provide links to typical recipes for each category.
Kenyer - (Bread)
Hungarians love bread and there are countless regional variations. Although rye and wheat flour are most commonly used for bread making, potatoes are often added.
Certain areas use hops as yeast, which makes the bread very light. Other areas use vegetable broth instead of water and sourdough breads are also very common.
Caraway or anise seed is sometimes added and one variety, called beebread (meyheskenyer), contains eggs, honey, nuts, raisins and cocoa powder.
Hungarian Potato Bread (Krumplis Kenyer)
Kalacs - (Milk Breads, Brioche and Coffee Cakes)
The word kalacs comes from the Slavic word kolac, which comes from kolo, which means circle.
A kalacs is an enriched bread or cake, which is often served at weddings or on special days such as Easter or Christmas. It is often filled with raisins and nuts and enriched with eggs and milk.
It comes in different shapes and is frequently braided much like French brioche or Jewish challah. One traditional version called kurtokalacs (chimney cake) is made by wrapping the dough around a tube before baking it.
Kurtos Kalacs - Hungarian Chimney Bread
Kiflik - (Crescent Roles)
Kiflik are Hungarian crescent rolls (similar to croissants in France and kipfels in Germany and Austria).
Unlike the French versions, which are generally savory, Hungarian kiflik can be savory or sweet and can come in different sizes. Some are filled with raisins and nuts and are served similar to cookies.
Others simply add salt and caraway or poppy seeds and are served plain or with butter and jam. In most cases, the dough is rolled out fairly thin and then cut into triangles before being rolled up and baked into crescent shapes.
Occasionally, the dough is rolled out relatively square, coated with poppy seeds or jam and rolled up into tubes before baking. They end up looking like small jellyrolls.
Hungarian Kifli (Crescent Rolls)
Pogascak -(Rolls and Biscuits)
The Hungarian word, pogacsa, comes from the Turkish word bogaca, which loosely translates into biscuit in English. However, this is an over simplification since pogascak can be either savory or sweet and they can be made with yeast dough like rolls or baking powder like biscuits or scones.
The savory versions can be made with butter, cracklings, bacon, cottage cheese and even with beans and the sweet versions can include honey, raisins, butter, eggs and even lemon juice.
I have included a table, which summarizes the differences between these four categories of bread, biscuits and rolls and at least one video showing how each of them is made.
In future hubs, I will provide specific recipes for each category and more detailed preparation and baking instructions.
Hungarian Pogacsa (Rolls)
Hungarian Baked Goods Comparisons
Milk Bread or Brioche
Braids, Flat Loaves and Cylinders
Biscuits, Scones and Rolls
Yeast or Baking Powder
Biscuits and Rolls
Recipes for Hungarian Desserts
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