I’d like to share my recipe for bejgli, which is a traditional Christmas cake in my country (Hungary). Since I’m almost vegan and don’t use the common refined ingredients, I had to be rather creative to prepare my version. For the dough I used less fat, whole wheat flour, and no eggs. For the fillings I used home-made jams and the respective dried fruits instead of the traditional milk, breadcrumbs and raisins in addition to the walnuts and poppy seeds, which are the two classic fillings (though chestnuts and other alternatives are becoming more and more popular nowadays).
Recipe: Bejgli with Walnuts & Poppy Seeds
For the dough (for 2 rolls):
- 500 g whole wheat flour
- 7 g baking powder
- 7 g active dry yeast
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon honey or unrefined cane sugar
- 150 ml sunflower oil
- cca. 250 ml lukewarm water
For the fillings:
- Walnuts (for 1 roll): 125 g ground walnuts, cca. 100 ml apricot jam, a handful of dried apricots cut into small pieces and soaked in water
- Poppy seeds (for 1 roll): 100 g ground poppy seeds, cca. 100 ml rosehip jam, a handful of dried rosehip cut into small pieces and soaked in water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-2 tablespoon water (the soaking water of the dried fruits is the best)
- Cut the dried apricots and the dried rosehips into small pieces and soak in some water, separately.
- Knead a soft dough from the ingredients listed above. The amount of the water you need to add depends on the exact quality of the flour. The dough should be soft but not stick to your hands. Cover with a tea-towel and keep in a warm place till you prepare the fillings.
- Mix the ground walnuts / poppy seeds with the jam. Add the soaked fruits as well. Add some of the soaking water if necessary to get an easily spreadable but not too soft cream. Sweeten if desired (I’ve used home-made, sugar-free jams and didn’t find it necessary).
- Halve the dough and roll it out to a rectangular shape.
- Spread one of the fillings on it, and roll up.
- Put the roll on a lightly greased baking tin.
- Prepare the other roll with the other filling in the same way.
- Mix a little honey with a little water, and smear the top of the rolls with this mixture.
- Put into the pre-heated oven, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for cca. 30 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire rack and cut into slices to serve.