Kürtőskalács (Eggless) aka Chimney Cake – Daring Baker’s Challenge

Kürtöskalács (pronounced keer-tosh-col-ak) is reputed to be Hungary’s oldest pastry. Kürt is Hungarian for horn and kalács means milk bread. It is also known as chimney cake because of its unique hollow tunnel shape


This was what we had to make for this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge.

The August Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by Kurtoskalacs, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!

This sweet pastry is made of a yeasted dough. The dough is rolled out and cut into thin strips and then wrapped around a wooden cylinder (spindle) in a spiral shape. These are then brushed with butter and coated with sugar before being baked in special ovens or on open fire. They are rotated to brown all the sides evenly. The sugar caramalizes and makes the exterior crunchy while the interior remains soft.
This can be eaten plain or with additional toppings like walnuts, pistachios, cinnamon or chocolate.
Though made by hand on special occasions, they are also available in bakeries and are a popular street food in East Europe.
Traditionally baked as a large roll and cut into smaller pieces, nowadays bakers make smaller pasties by using small wooden spindles similar to rolling pins, that fit into specially-fitted electric ovens to produce miniature cakes that are served in one piece.

inside Swathi suggested that we make it at home by using wooden rolling pins wrapped in foil. They can then be roasted, grilled or baked in the oven.
To make the moulds for the cake, I used the round carton around which kitchen foil and paper towels are rolled. I cut them into two equal halves and wrapped them with aluminium foil. I got this idea from the blog Pearls of Baking.
I made 4 moulds in all. I made a cinnamon snail roll with the rest of the dough.
I reduced the milk (by 20 ml) and also cut down the amount of yeast from 2  teaspoons to 1/2 a teaspoon. I have learnt to my cost that yeast and hot and humid weather do not get along. The last two breads I made had pockmarks due to excess yeast activity. This time I thought less yeast and a long slow rise would work. It did!! I proofed the dough for 3 1/2 hours and it was a dream to work with.
To make this eggless, I replaced the egg with 50 gms homemade yogurt.
I omitted the topping. The sugar coating had caramalized and it had a nice crunch. I did not feel the need to fiddle with that.
Since I baked these standing, two of the Kürtőskalács became a bit squat as they slid down the moulds and bunched up during baking.
They tasted wonderful and I can fully understand why it is so popular. The pastry was crisp and crunchy. Absolutely perfect.

Kürtőskalács (Eggless) aka Chimney Cake – Daring Baker’s Challenge

Prep Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes

Four 6\\\\

Kürtőskalács (Eggless) aka Chimney Cake – Daring Baker’s Challenge

These unusual shaped pastries are made of bread dough.

Traditionally barbecued over a spit, this recipe is for the home oven.

For the dough:
240 gm all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
30 gms sugar
A pinch of salt
50 gms plain unflavored yogurt or 1 egg
100 - 120 ml milk (lukewarm)
45 gms melted butter
For baking/grilling:
melted butter
To make Kürtöskalács:
Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast in a mixing bowl.
Combine the milk, yogurt (or egg), and melted butter and add to the dry ingredients.
Form a dough and knead for 5 minutes.
The dough should be sticky so add more milk if required.
Grease your hands while handling the dough if you need to.
Place in a well greased bowl and cover and leave aside for 3-4 hours or till it doubles in volume.
Prepare the moulds by covering them with aluminium foil and brush melted butter on top.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
Gently punch down the dough, remove on a counter and divide it into 4 equal parts.
Lightly flour the counter and roll one piece into a circle about 1/6 inch (4 mm) thick.
Use a pizza cutter to cut it into a long ribbon about 1/2" (13 mm) wide.
Wind this strip of dough as a spiral around the mould, tuck in the end so that it doesn't unravel. (Keep the strip thin).
Roll then gently on the counter to flatten and press the strips together.
Brush melted butter on top and roll in sugar.
Place upright on a parchment lined baking sheet. (or you could make them lie down on the sheet).
Repeat for all the pieces of dough.
Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes till golden on top.
If roasting it will take 20 minutes and around 6 minutes under the grill.
Remember to rotate the roll halfway through the cooking time.
Remove from oven and roll in sugar again.
If using any topping, brush with mutter and roll the cooked spiral in it.
Tap the mould gently on a table top to release the cake.
Cool upright over a wire rack.
They are best had warm.
Store in an airtight container and warm in oven for 5 minutes before serving.