Borjúkötél – Calf ropes

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Breads, buns & biscuits

Borjúkötél is an old Kun recipe, a kind of sweet bread with a savoury topping. Kuns are part of the broader Hungarian ethnic community, but have distinct cultural and historical characteristics. The people known in Hungary as the Kuns were a tribal confederacy of Turkic-speaking peoples – Kipchaks, Yellow Uyghurs, Asian Kuns – who emerged in the 11th century, and for a long time troubled the neighbouring eastern Slavic, Hungarian, Polish, Byzantine and southern Slavic territories with their attacks. The tribal alliance was crushed by the Mongols in the 13th century. A part of the Kuns (which is only a fraction of the total population compared to the Kuns as a whole) then settled in Hungary and assimilated into the Hungarian population.

The Kuns historically lived in the Great Hungarian Plain, also known as the Puszta, which is a vast and flat region in the eastern part of Hungary. During the assimilation of the Kuns in Hungary, a language change took place, they adopted the Hungarian language, became Christians, and used Hungarian surnames and first names. However, they have preserved unique traditions, including culinary practices like the preparation of calf ropes. Borjúkötél is made from a soft yeast dough, which is cut and rolled into ropes. The ropes are braided and topped with a mixture of bryndza (sheep’s milk cheese), sour cream, garlic and dill.

Borjúkötél - Calf ropes
Borjúkötél – Calf ropes – 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.

Wish list

If you are looking for a Hungarian recipe that hasn't been published on this website yet, let me know, and I'll do my best to post it.

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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