Csotros kalács

by | Dec 19, 2018 | Breads, buns & biscuits

I first saw this pastry in Gasztroangyal, a Hungarian series presenting our country’s regions and traditional foods. The recipe’s original name was twisted challah (sodort kalács), but the German grandmother of the lady, who made this delicious pastry in the video, was unable to pronounce the word ‘sodort’, she called it ‘csotros’ instead.

I diverged from the original recipe because it calls for 500 g / 1 lb of honey (no, it’s not a typo). I spread less honey on the top of the cake and simplified the baking process. Feel free to use more sugar and/or honey if you prefer a sweeter taste.

Csotros kalács
Sodort kalács, csotros kalács


  • 500 g (~4 cups) flour
  • 25 g (~2 1/2 tsp dry yeast) fresh yeast
  • 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbps sugar
  • 50 g (~4 tbsp) melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 5-6 tbsp honey
  • 80 g (~1 cup) ground walnuts

Combine yeast, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of flour and 200 ml of lukewarm milk in a small bowl. Set aside until the yeast starts to foam.

Sift the flour in a large bowl. Add egg yolks, 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, salt, rest of the milk, melted butter and the activated yeast. Using dough hooks knead the dough until smooth and pliable. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

After dough has risen, knead gently on a floured surface and roll it out into a 2,5 cm / 1 inch thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 2,5 cm / 1 inch wide strips. Scatter 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on the pastry board, roll out each strip on the sugared board to make them a little bit longer and twist each end  of the strip in the opposite direction to get a wavy surface.

Csotros kalács - twisting strips

Place the strips in a baking pan lined with parchment paper, starting from the middle to form a spiral shape. Allow sufficient space between strips as they will rise. Spread honey on top, then sprinkle ground walnuts evenly.

Csotros kalács - making a spiral
Csotros kalács topped with honey and walnuts
photos: zserbo.com

Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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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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