There is something special about yeast-leavened pastries, or, in Hebrew, ugot
Halfway between pastry and bread, their aroma, taste and tender
texture make them hard to resist, whether for breakfast with coffee or for
afternoon tea. Indeed, when I visit a pastry shop, yeast cakes usually tempt me
more than heavily frosted layer cakes or gooey, sticky cupcakes.
want to make yeast-risen pastries for Purim, the obvious choice might be
hamantashen. Bubbe, called “America’s Favorite Online Grandmother,” writes in
Feed Me Bubbe (with Avrom Honig), “Sometimes hamantaschen are made with regular
cookie dough. I think they are so much better when made the traditional way,
with a yeast dough.”
Some people make hamantashen from halla dough, and
in fact, yeast dough may be the kind that was used to make the first
hamantashen. According to Gil Marks, author of Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, “the
original hamantaschen were made from pieces of kuchen, a rich yeast
In addition to hamantashen, you can make other filled pastries
using yeast dough with your favorite Purim fillings, such as poppy seed, prune,
date or jam. Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg, authors of Inside the Jewish
Bakery, bake yeast cakes in a variety of shapes. For their Hungarian poppy-seed
or walnut rolls, they brush a sheet of yeast-leavened coffee cake dough with
melted butter, spread it with the filling and bake it like a jelly roll. To make
fruit-filled buns, they set the filling on circles of dough, enclose it and seal
the pastry to form a ball; they bake the buns with a topping of rich, crumbly
You can also spread the filling on the rolled-out dough, roll
the pastry into a log or strudel shape, cut it into slices, and bake them like
cinnamon rolls, with their filling showing in a spiral pattern.
put the filled slices in a cake pan so that they are just touching, they will
come together as they bake, forming a babka. Kim Boyce, author of Good to the
Grain, makes chocolate-filled babka this way, using a rich halla dough made with
kamut flour and a double dose of butter.
Another perfect-for-Purim yeast
cake is kugelhopf, which I learned to make in Paris. Baked in a fluted tube pan,
this coffee cake studded with almonds and raisins is a favorite among the Jews
Yeast dough is flexible and easy to adapt to your
taste. To make a parve yeast dough for her cinnamon buns, Paula Shoyer,
author of The Kosher Baker
, moistens the dough with soy milk and enriches it
with parve margarine and canola oil.
When preparing the lemon-glazed
poppy-seed yeast cakes in the recipe below, it’s up to you whether to make them
dairy or parve. Both the dough and the filling can be made with butter,
margarine or oil.The writer is the author of 1,000 Jewish Recipes.
POPPY-SEED LEMON ROLLS
These lemon-glazed sweet rolls make a pleasing Purim
treat. You can bake them ahead and freeze them. If you like, replace 1⁄2 cup of
the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour.
100 gr. (3.5 oz. or 7
Tbsp.) unsalted butter or margarine or 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
7 gr. (1⁄4 oz.)
active dry yeast (about 21⁄2 tsp.)
3 Tbsp. warm water (41ºC to 46ºC or 105ºF to
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Poppy-seed Filling (see recipe below)
Glaze (see recipe below)
If using butter or margarine, cut it in 12 to 14 pieces
and let it come to room temperature.
In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over
water; add 1⁄4 tsp. sugar. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy. Stir
Put flour into bowl of mixer; make a well in center. Add
salt, remaining 23⁄4 tsp. sugar and whole eggs. Mix ingredients in center of
well briefly with dough hook of mixer. Add yeast mixture.
Mix at low
speed until mixture comes together to a dough, pushing in flour
Scrape down mixture. Add egg yolk; beat until blended.
Continue beating on medium speed about 12 minutes or until dough is very
Add lemon zest and butter pieces. Beat on low speed, scraping
down dough often, just until butter is blended in. Dough will be
Lightly oil a medium bowl. Place dough in oiled bowl; turn dough
over to oil surface. Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap; let dough rise in a
warm draft-free place about 11⁄2 hours or until nearly doubled in bulk. Gently
turn dough over several times to knock out air. Return to bowl.
refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Prepare filling. Refrigerate 1
hour to overnight.
Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. On a cool, floured
surface, roll out dough to a 25-cm. x 38-cm. (10-in. x 15-in.) rectangle,
flouring often. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 2.5-cm. (1-in.) border on
one long side. Roll up dough from opposite long side like a jelly roll. Pinch
roll of dough along edges to seal. Trim ends. Cut a 2.5-cm. (1-in.) slice of
Using rubber spatula, set slice on baking sheet, with more
narrow side of slice (side that was pressed with knife) facing down. Slice
remaining dough; set slices about 5 cm. (2 in.) apart on sheet. Work quickly so
dough will not become too soft. Press any uneven slices to an even round
Let cakes rise uncovered in a draft-free area about 30
Meanwhile, prepare Lemon Glaze.
Preheat oven to 205ºC
(400ºF). Bake rolls in center rack of oven for 12 minutes.
temperature to 175ºC (350ºF). Bake 10 to 12 more minutes or until rolls are
golden brown. Transfer to a rack; cool slightly. Spread with glaze while still
warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 15 sweet rolls
Lemon zest and juice add a fresh tang to this sweet filling.
cups poppy seeds 3⁄4 cup water 3⁄4 cup sugar
28 gr. (1 oz. or 2 Tbsp.) butter,
margarine or vegetable oil
1⁄3 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Grind poppy seeds in a spice grinder. In
small saucepan combine poppy seeds, water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook
over low heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Add butter, candied orange and
lemon juice. Stir over low heat about 5 minutes or until filling is thick and
Remove from heat. Stir in grated lemon
zest.Refrigerate before using.
Makes about 12⁄3 cups
Spread this glaze on sweet rolls while they are still warm. The glaze is
especially good with pastries that have citrus flavors in the dough or
You can reheat the rolls after glazing them.
28 gr. (1 oz. or 2 Tbsp.) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 to 2 tsp. grated lemon rind
Sift powdered sugar. Beat
butter until very soft and smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat
in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. If glaze is too thick to spread, add a little more
juice, 1 tsp. at a time. Stir in grated lemon rind.
firm if refrigerated; bring back to room temperature before spreading. If it is
still too thick, set bowl of glaze above a pan of hot water so it
Makes enough for 15 sweet rolls