Hungarian Poppy Seed and Walnut Beigli (Veganized)

| December 23, 2011 | 4 Comments
  • 4 Comments

beigli slices

At Christmastime in Hungary, there are two sweets that are traditionally found in every household. Szaloncukor is one: a chocolate candy most often filled with fondant, marzipan, or jelly (my favorite!) wrapped in white fringy tissue and bright shiny foil, strung with thread, and hung on the tree. The other is beigli, a rolled pastry, filled with either poppy seed or walnut filling (usually both varieties are made at once). My mom used to make beigli every Christmas when my brother and I were kids. She’d pull out a tattered cookbook that she bought with my dad when they were still dating from which she got all her recipes. According to her, it is the perfect recipe (my brother and I, and our bellies, agree!). So, she helped me with this veganized version, referencing her old cookbook and helping me think of the best vegan substitutes to incorporate. I created my own recipe melding her notes, and a few recipes I found online that incorporate the most traditional ingredients (from Chanita Harel’s Mom’s Recipes and More: Israeli Food Blog and from a recipe from a traditional cookbook called the Innes Mester, posted on the King Arthur Flour community forum by “janiebakes.”)

Recipe: Beigli

Ingredients:
For the dough
500 gr flour
200 gr vegan butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
3 portions of prepared Ener-G Egg Replacer equal to 3 eggs
1 packet dry active yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm vegan milk (I used almond)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup vegan sour cream
pinch of salt

ground walnuts

Walnut Filling
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups vegan milk (I used almond)
2 1/2 cups ground walnuts (I use a rotary cheese grater, which is what’s used in Hungary. It grinds the walnuts leaving them light and fluffy, not gritty like a food processor.)
1 3/4 cups of dry bread crumbs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum
1/2 cup of rum-soaked raisins (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

poppy seed mixture

Poppy Seed Filling
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups vegan milk (I used almond)
2 1/2 cups ground poppy seeds (You can use a coffee grinder to grind them.)
1 3/4 cups bread crumbs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of rum-soaked raisins (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

dough

Dough:
1. Dissolve yeast in a mixture of the 1/3 cup lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar and wait a few minutes until frothy.
2. Combine flour and butter until crumbly. I used my KitchenAid mixer’s flat beater and it worked great.
3. Add the yeast mixture wait a few minutes. Add the egg replacer, sour cream, and salt and combine to a soft dough (add 70-100 gr more flour if needed).
4. Divide the dough into 4 and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to rest.

Walnut Filling:
1. Combine, in a large bowl, the ground walnut, bread crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, rum, and raisins and cinnamon if adding.
2. Add the sugar to the milk, bring to the boil, then add to the other ingredients. Mix very well.

Poppy Seed Filling:
1. Combine, in a large bowl, the ground poppy seeds, bread crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and raisins and cinnamon if adding.
2. Add the sugar to the milk, bring to the boil, then add to the other ingredients. Mix very well.

Cool both fillings.

walnut beigli unrolled

Assembling:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Roll out the dough (each part) to a rectangular shape that’s not too thin (1/8”-1/4” thick). Spread the cooled filling over it, leaving about an inch all around the edges. Fold the edges over the filling. This will create a nice finished edge after rolling. Another way to do it is to roll the filling out between sheets of plastic wrap first. It’s important to get a fairly even ratio of dough to filling. [I went a little overboard on my fillings as you can see -- but the filling is the best part!]

beigli rolled

3. Roll up the dough along the longer side, creating a log. Prick with a fork along the top. Traditionally, at this point, an egg wash is brushed on top. I left mine au naturale, but feel free to add a vegan egg wash.
4. Place on a cookie sheet or large baking dish. Let the rolls rest a couple of minutes, then place in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown for 35-40 minutes.
5. Let cool completely and only slice once you are ready to serve.

beigli slices

Boldog Karácsonyt!

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Category: baking and bakeries, dessert and chocolate, holidays and traditions, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

Vi Zahajszky, originally from Hungary, Boston, and New York, drove across the country to San Francisco a few years ago with her husband Chris and a rescue pup named The Bandit. By day she works at KQED and is involved in the station's new media efforts. By night, her passions lie in vegan food and fashion. Her own blog, plantmade, focuses on vegan and cruelty-free fashion. She is a fashion writer for eco-conscious website One Green Planet, and has contributed to SF vegan lifestyle blog Vegansaurus and San Diego food blog Pizzelles. Currently studying fashion design and pattern-making at Apparel Arts in San Francisco, she has plans to eventually develop a vegan clothing line. You can find her on facebook and on twitter @plantmade.
  • Hugo de Bean

    Taste, presentation, and tradition; just imagining eating one slice of this treat instantly brings up the Christmas cheers; for I would also consider serving maybe a nice mushroom soup and a goose to finish up the meal in case someone is a non vegetarian

  • Tamás

    Hey, good to see you still keep to the traditions — even if you do it vegan style :-)
    Boldog új évet!

  • Lotta

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a vegan beigli for almost an hour now. So happy to have found this! Love this treat.

  • Bellwether Nesingwary

    Fabulous shots. I just made beijgli from George Lang’s book… under cakes (it’s listed as a sweetbread in the chapter of cakes). I forgot to poke mine. And they did tear. Sadly, my bread didn’t rise but the dough remained slightly fragile and still very crusty and buttery like a shortbread. I actually loved it. Maybe my yeast needs to be tossed. It was a great time and your photos really brought it back to me. Thanks, Vi and szia!