Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hungarian Milk Bread

Tejes Kolacs

A Hungarian family recipe from the 1800's!

Both my grandmas made this sweet bread, so I know that it dates from the late 1800's.  They probably got it from their own mothers.  They served it for Shabbat (the sabbath) and for other holidays during the year (excepting, of course, Passover, with its food restrictions).

When Tante Grete, my dad's sister, came here from the UK (where she and Uncle Longy lived as soon as they could get out of Austria),  she took over the baking from my grandma.  I remember that hers was always a bit dry and over-baked.  Then my mother started making it after Tante Grete could no longer do so.  Mom's bread was good, but she was never comfortable baking bread.  Me, I love baking bread, so I grabbed the recipe from Mommy and took off with it.  She immediately gave up baking it.  

On my mother's side, Zinn Grandma baked it too.  In her later years, she also had to watch her fat and cholesterol intake, so she modified the recipe, too.  I never had her recipe, but I do remember that it was just as tasty as the full-fat one.

 I only make it for Rosh Hashanah and for fast-breaking from Yom Kippur.  I've modified it for the way we eat now.  The original recipe called for lots of butter, whole milk, sour cream, and all those other lovely, cholesterol-laden goodies.   Here is my recipe, adapted for the bread machine, 'cause it kneads better than I ever can.

Note:  this is not totally exact.  I bake it the way the family did, a bit on the free-form side, but you can easily fix it up if you are so inclined.

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 heaping TB low-fat sour cream.  (don't use the non-fat one; it's awful)
  • 1 scant tsp kosher salt (kosher salt has less sodium than regular table salt and tastes better)
  • 1/2 cup water - I put the egg and the sour cream into my measuring cup and then add enough water to make it to 1 cup.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (more or less, depending on humidity, too much liquid, etc, etc)
  • 3 TB dark brown sugar.  You can use regular sugar but I like this taste better.
  • 3 TB non-fat dry milk.
  • 1 tsp sweet butter, cut up into little pieces.
  • 1.5 tsp yeast.  I usually use only 1 tsp, but this takes forever to rise, so the extra half gives it a bit more oomph
  • 1 tsp butter, melted.
  • 6 oz mini chocolate chips 
  1. Beat your egg, put it into your measuring cup.  Add the sour cream and enough water to make one cup liquid.
  2. Dump into the bread machine.
  3. Add the kosher salt, and the vanilla extract.
  4.  Measure in 3 cups of all purpose flour.
  5. Add the brown sugar, the milk powder and the sweet butter
  6.  Make a little indentation in the top and put in your yeast.
  • Put your bread machine on the "knead" cycle.  Don't even think of baking this in the machine.  Ever. 
  • Watch it as it kneads.  If it's too wet, add little bits of flour until the dough cleans the sides of the machine.  I do this by sprinkling flour onto the soggy dough while it kneads.  You want it just to clear the sides, not too soggy but also not too dry.  As it's kneading, it should become as smooth and soft as a baby's bottom.  That's the egg at work here.  Yeah, egg!
  • Let it rise to the top of the pan.  This will take considerably longer than when the machine dings.  All that sweetening gives it a long, long rise.  It's OK.  If you have to run out to do other things, you can always deflate the dough, and let it rise again.
  • When it's risen, deflate it and place onto a floured dough board, kitchen counter, whatever you use to roll out either pie crusts or bread.
  1. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray or grease it with butter.  Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies; otherwise you'll have to scrub all that out.  Yech.
  2. Roll out your dough.  If it resists, let it rest a little bit.  Because you are using all-purpose flour rather than bread flour, the dough will roll out so much easier.  
  3. Spread that 1 tsp of melted butter all over it.  Yep, just that little bit of butter makes a big difference.
  4. Spread the chocolate chips all over the dough.
  5. Roll up tightly, if you can.  I never get it tight enough.
  6. Press the ends together so that it looks like a giant doughnut.
  7. Place gently into the Bundt pan, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 30 min.
  8. At the end of the 30 minutes, begin heating the oven to 450 degrees F.
  9. After 15 minutes, the oven should be hot enough.
  10. Place the pan into the oven, shut the door, and lower the heat to 400 degrees.
  11. Bake for approx 30 minutes.  
  12. Check to see if the bread is done.  I use the "knock on the loaf to hear that hollow sound" method.
  13. Remove bread from pan and onto a wire rack.  Cool off.
  14. Enjoy.

You can see from my pics that the dough split.  I always manage to do this, but the taste is fine, and you get to eat any chocolate chips that escape as the bread cools.  MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Here is the bread in the bread machine.

 Here is the dough hook (blurry).

Guess what's not in the machine.  Guess what kneaded (???) for 7 minutes.  Guess what's not working.

Yep, you got it.  I forgot to put in the dough thingie.  Whoops.

Guess what is now kneading.
Silly me.

Dough ingredients: 
  • scant tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • maybe 1 TB caraway seeds; some is on the bottom of the pan
  • 3/4 cup graham flour
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
That's it.  Going to the gym where I hope I don't forget my brain.

Design Wall Monday

Octagon flowers!  That's what's on my design floor today.  Each one of these little guys is made up of 5 pieces:  the 1" center diamond and 4 elongated hexagons.  They are joined by 2" squares.  It's a lot of hand work, but it goes very quickly.

I think English paper piecing is my place in the quilting universe.  I love how each block builds and then joins the others.  Every one is a decision.  The Hubz calls it the "hmm" factor.  I'll play around with placing the octies and do a lot of hmmm-ing.  What should I put here?  What there?  I love this.

I never pre-plan color order.  In my Fair Isle heyday, I'd never color my charts.  Just bought entirely too many colors and then played as I went along.  I don't want to know how something will look before I do it; I like serendipity.  So it is with EPP.  My cup of tea.

I don't care about speed, either.  I just love being able to do a little bit of piecing here and there.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Octagons and hexies

Yesterday's progress on the octagon quilt.  Slow work, but very relaxing.  The little black octagon is already sewn to the large square, and now needs to be attached to the side of the little orange flower one.  I'm thinking that I should first attach another large square first.  This is easy easy work; the hard part is figuring out in which order I should sew these guys together.

Third block in progress.  That skinny little needle is nasty.  I keep poking myself with it.  No blood, yet, but any second now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Just because I don't have enough EPP (English Paper Piecing) going on, I had to start a new project the other day.  The Starry Menace is resting before I finish up a few more blocks, and Hexified is in process of being appliqued.
So, heaven forbid I should finish up some knitting or crochet; nope, I had to play with paper pieces.

I had all the fixings to make POC (patchwork of the crosses), but the fact is that I really don't like fussy cutting, and I think the prettiest of these are fussy cut.  So I played around with my little elongated hexies and squares and here are some of my ideas:

Those are all kind of like a POC block.  Here's what else I tried:
And how about these:

Nah, they were close, but no cigar.  However, I really liked the middle three ideas, so I decided to go with them, with a little change.  Now they are not bumped up next to each other; there's a 2" square between each little octagon. 

I found some lovely Grunge by Moda in the Blitzen collection, and that's what the octies are resting on.
Each octy is 3.5" with that cute little 1" block in the middle of each one.  Here's what one looks like on the back of my hand.
And, here are 4 of them surrounding that 2" piece of Blitzen Grunge.
And more of the idea.

Are they adorable or what?  The official name of the quilt (at least at this moment) is Octagonny. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Better Hexified Pics

Yesterday's pics were truly awful.  The colors really looked horrible.  So, I just took some blurry, but much better-colored pics.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We've been Hexified!

Yes, indeed, the hexie blocks are all finished.  Now what remains is to applique them onto their background, sew a color border around each one, and join them together, quilt, bind, etc, etc.

I don't have enough of the Kona white to do a background for all 12 blocks, but I'm a very experienced knitter who knows how to fudge, so - I'll use one of each color for the background, and then do the borders for those blocks in white.  They'll become the corner blocks.  And then we'll call it a "design element".  Hah!

The pics were just taken and the color is not nearly as accurate as if I had taken them in the morning light.  You get what you get, and you don't get upset.  Good kindergarten advice.

So what to EPP next?  I've put myself on a fabric diet, because I have a lot of fabric.  I was talking to the Hubz about designing a fancy hexagon.  He, being an engineer, is all excited about this.  Me, I'd just draw a few with interesting elements, but Hiz Hubz is saying words like accurate and geometry, and other scary things.  Accuracy is his strong point, me, I'm the fudger, so I think he'll win.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


 First hexie block unpressed.

They're coming along, those cute hexie rectangles.  I love all the handwork.  It's so portable and easy, and pretty much auto-pilot.  Given that I'm a lazy craft woman, auto-pilot is what I like.

Here's the same block, but pressed.  A bit out of focus, 'cause I didn't use the tripod.

Here is the planned layout.  Maybe.  Who knows?  I'll see.  I'm planning on another row, so it should be OK in size.
Each block will have a border of either one of two greens, or one of two yellow/oranges.

Here's the first block layed out on the darker green to get the idea of what I want.

I'm not sure how big I'll make this quilt.  Probably lap size, because I like to cuddle underneath quilts and not put them on my bed.  OK, the real reason is that boredom will set in and then I'll finish it up.  In the meantime, I'm not bored at all, and am really enjoying all the hand work.  BTW, the hexies were appliqued onto the Kona white.  I'm not great at it, but I suspect I'll be pretty good by the time this quilt is done.

Now I need a name.  I'm thinking of Hexified.


Related Posts with Thumbnails