Recipe Finder: Makos Kalacs

October 02, 2011|By Julie Rothman, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Janet Janata from Norfolk, Va., was looking for a recipe for what her husband called a "Marc Cake." She described it as a rolled yeast cake with a sweet poppy seed filling. DC Kiss from Ellicott City thought that the cake Janata and her husband were looking for sounded like the traditional Hungarian pastry called Makos (poppy seed) Kalacs. The recipe she sent in ran in the Sunday Sun Magazine in May 1966. This light and airy, slightly sweet yeast bread is similar in texture to challah bread. The bread is typically made for holidays but there is no reason to limit making Kalacs to a particular season. It also makes a great addition to a brunch menu or just as an accompaniment to your coffee or tea.


Tricia Grannell from Timonium is hoping someone might have the recipe for the mocha cheesecake that she enjoyed many years ago at a restaurant in Baltimore's "Little Italy" neighborhood, called Maria's. She said it was the best cheesecake she has ever eaten.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Makos Kalacs (Hungarian Sweet Bread)

Makes: 3 (15-inch) loaves

For pastry:

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

2 eggs, separated

1/3 cup milk

3 1/2 cups flour (not self-rising)

1 egg (reserve for glaze)

For filling:

5 cups poppy seeds, ground (walnuts may be substituted)

4 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs (or 8 crushed saltines)

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups raisins

1/2 cup quince, apple or apricot jelly or preserves

3/4 cup milk

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cover and let rise until yeast fills cup. Meanwhile, cut butter into small pieces and place in large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, yeast, 2 egg yolks, milk and flour. Work dough with hands until smooth texture is achieved. Add a little more flour if dough is too sticky.

Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold into dough, adding flour, a little at a time, until it is no longer sticky.

Divide dough into 3 equal parts and form into balls. Cover with a kitchen cloth and let rise on a floured cookie sheet until it doubles in size (1 to2 hours).

Meanwhile, mix filling ingredients together and divide into 3 equal parts.

Roll out each ball of dough into a rectangle shape that is 1/8 inch thick. Spread 1/3 of the filling evenly on the dough. Roll dough as tightly as possible, jelly roll style, tucking in the ends as you go. Beat the reserved egg and spread half over the loaves. Let rise for 15 minutes, then spread the rest of the egg over the tops of the loaves and prick loaves with a fork.

Bake (seam side down) in a rectangular pan with sides at 350 degrees (for Pyrex 325 degrees) for 30 to 45 minutes until loaves are golden brown. Leave uncut to cool overnight. Wrap in foil until ready to slice.

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