Kakastaréj – Walnut crescent rolls

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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