Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sweet Milk Loaf Fonott Tejes Kalács

As I was toasting the last of the sweet milk loaf I made this Easter, it reminded me how much I wanted to share this recipe. Sweet milk loaves or Kalács you can buy in Hungary all year round, but has a particular significance around Easter. It's perfect with the smoked cured ham for Easter Sunday breakfast but also freezes really well and ready to eat later on with butter and jam, like we did. Braiding the many strands of this loaf can be daunting but I found some excellent video tutorials on YouTube and will include in the recipe below. There are choices of how many strands you want to braid, less is a bit easier, but this one is made with 6 strands and was not too complicated to do at all. Also I think this is a great dough to use for braiding, it keeps its shape and beautiful shiny strands while baking. This is a lovely breakfast bread to make all year round, if you like a brioche, you will love this kalács too! I used refined spelt flour in this recipe as I have been using it for most of my baking recently, but plain white flour is also fine to use.

250ml double cream
50g butter
1 egg
1 egg white
500g refined spelt flour (or plain flour)
pinch of salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 packet of dried yeast (7g)
1 egg yolk for glazing

Warm the cream and butter until completely melted and allow to cool to room temperature.
Sift the flour, sugar, salt, yeast into a bowl. Add the beaten egg and the egg white and mix well. 
Add the warm milk and butter mix and knead for about 10 minutes or until you get a smooth, elastic dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Cover and let it prove in a warm place for 1 to 2 hrs or until doubles in size. When ready to braid, divide the dough into 6 and roll them into a 40cm long strand each. Bunch them at the top, arrange them into a fan shape and start braiding. Study this tutorial from YouTube before you have a go. This is what mine looked like after braiding:

When ready, let it prove in a warm place until you warm the oven to 180C. Glaze the loaf with the beaten egg yolk and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Delicious eaten fresh, but also freezes well and it is perfect toasted for breakfast.

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