by | Dec 23, 2013 | Breads, buns & biscuits

Several legends circulate about the beigli’s origin, but it’s sure that it appeared in Hungary in the second half of the 19th century and since then there is no Christmas without this pastry. Its name comes from the German word beugen (=bend in English).

The beigli’s predecessor was probably the Silesian filled challach that was already known in the 16th century. Although it’s more likely that it emerged from the famous Bratislava horseshoe. The first Bratislava horseshoes filled with ground walnuts and poppy seeds were baked in 1559 and  became very popular abroad, too.

The two kinds of filling fit in the symbolism of Christmas perfectly because poppy seeds symbolize wealth and fertility, while walnuts protect against bewitching. Today there are many different fillings like chestnuts, marzipan, and even apple, coconut and hazelnut fillings can be found.

The most frequently asked question is whether beigli will split during the baking process. My answer is: there is a chance. After trying several versions, I can say there’s no “bombproof” recipe, which can guarantee that your beigli will be intact and undamaged. If you can’t bear the sight of a split beigli, I recommend that you should not make this pastry.

Beigli – photo:
Beigli – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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