Every year approaching Christmas, we always had a certain variety of baked goods that were traditional to our family: the typical gingerbread, but also pastries that are common to my dad’s Hungarian heritage. One such pastry in particular was kifli. Kifli are a sweet ground walnut-filled soft pastry that is coated in icing sugar.
Normally, I’ve made this with conventional white flour because it was all I knew growing up. Over the last year or so I’ve tried to change as much as I can over to heritage varieties of wheat flour I get from Gold Forest Grains. His Red Fife variety seems to be the closest at almost substituting cup for cup with conventional flour. Here’s how it turned out.
Kifli (Hungarian Walnut Crescent Pastries)
3 cups Gold Forest Grains Red Fife flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
2 Sunshine Organic Farms large eggs
1/2 cup milk
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Gradually work in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly. Whisk the eggs with the milk and work into the butter-crumbled dry mixture. Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth and no longer sticky. It will come together quite easily because of the larger fat ratio overall. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
For the filling:
2-1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3-1/2 cup rhubarb juice (or half lemon juice-half water)
Add the walnuts, sugar and rhubarb juice to a food processor and pulse a few times until it achieves the texture of a chunky peanut butter. If it’s still quite dry add a tablespoon or two of water to achieve the desired consistency. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the prepared dough from the refrigerator and split into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion out into a large rectangle about 1/4cm(1/8″) thick. Cut into rough 6cm(3″) squares. Add a teaspoon of filling to one corner of each square. Roll diagonally over the walnut filling, pinching the seams and bending into a crescent shape. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake for 7-10 minutes until just golden on the bottom. You don’t want it to go golden on the top so keep a close watch on the baking process. I usually check at the seven minute mark and if the bottom isn’t quite golden yet, give it another minute and keep checking. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
To serve, toss the cooled kiflis in a bag of icing sugar until they are completely coated. Serve immediately. Store any kifli not served immediately in an airtight container in your fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a month.