Kakastaréj – Walnut crescent rolls

by | Dec 3, 2021 | Breads, buns & biscuits

Kakastaréj is a walnut filled, crescent shaped sweet pastry from Hajdúböszörmény, a little town in the eastern part of Hungary. The word kakastaréj translates as rooster comb and it refers to the scored, bent shape of the crescents. The following recipe yields 12 rolls.

Kakastaréj - Walnut crescent rolls
Kakastaréj – Walnut crescent rolls – photo: zserbo.com


For the dough:

  • 250 ml (~1 cup) milk
  • 25 g fresh yeast (2 1/2 tsp dry yeast)
  • 70 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
  • 500 g (~4 cups) flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) butter, softened

For the filling:

  • 300 g (~2/3 lb) ground walnuts
  • 160 g (~3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbps) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml (~1/2 cup) milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 egg for the egg wash

Dissolve yeast and a teaspoon of sugar in lukewarm milk.

In a bowl combine flour and salt. Add softened butter, egg, sugar and activated yeast, and knead into a smooth dough using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. As the dough may be a little sticky, add some flour to reach the right consistency. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the filling by mixing the ingredients together.

After 30 minutes divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out the first one into a thin rectangle and cut into 6 pieces. Place some filling on the edge of the oblong’s longer side, roll it up, make 5-6 incisions on the top and bend it into a crescent shape.

photos: zserbo.com

Roll out and fill the other piece of dough in the same way.

Place the walnut rolls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, cover and let them rest for 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F. Whisk the egg with a fork and brush each risen crescent roll with the egg wash. Bake them for 15-17 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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