Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kipfel Dough (Hungarian Style)

This standard, rich Hungarian Jewish pastry dough can be used for rugelach, hamentashen, cookies, and other treats; and yes, I can offer you a gluten-free version. Here is the straight up recipe for the dough, right out of my grandmother’s kitchen. Check out my rugelach and hamentashen recipes for delicious ways to use this dough to make traditional Jewish pastries.


½ lb. butter (2 sticks) softened
½ lb. cream cheese softened
2 c. sifted flour (use whole wheat flour or, for a gluten-free pastry, use brown rice flour)
½ tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. salt 


Blend the ingredients well, working the butter and cream cheese into the flour. This dough has so much butter and cream cheese in it that it falls apart unless it’s chilled. Once you have it blended into a ball, put the kipfel in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or the freezer for 20 minutes before attempting to work with it. When you roll it out, only roll out half the dough at first, while leaving the other half in the refrigerator to stay chilled. Then roll out the other half of the dough.

Once it’s chilled, this dough is quite versatile. See my rugelach and hamentashen recipes. You can transform this dough into cookies by rolling it out (about ¼ inch thick) and using cookie cutters or a glass (for rounds) to shape the cookies. To sweeten the cookies, brush them with honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top or spread jam on them. Bake the cookies on a greased cookie sheet at 375º for 20 minutes (until they brown and are no longer doughy).

For the gluten-free version, put a piece of parchment (wax paper works OK, just not quite as well as parchment) on the cutting board before you roll out the dough to prevent sticking. Rice flour dough tends to be more gooey, fragile, and harder to work with than wheat flour dough. The gluten-free version needs to bake for a little longer than the wheat version – 25 minutes should do it.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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