There is no doubt that Walnut Bread is a fantastic Easter pastry, however it can be served any time throughout the year, not only at Easter
Easter always had a great tradition in Hungary carrying on with old-world recipes for generations. Each generation adding something new to the Holiday but keeping time-tested recipes intact for centuries.
The most traditional food for Easter is cooked ham, hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. Of course these are peasant favorites from ages ago and today most households serve trendy dishes and delectable desserts for Easter but there isn't a household in Hungary that doesn't include the traditional ham, egg and potato on their table.
On Good Friday they serve fish dishes keeping the tradition of eating light on that day. There is also a great tradition of "watering" the girls and women of the country, which symbolizes spring flowers and spring showers. Women and girls are the flowers and perfumes are the spring showers. Man take a bottle of perfume with them and visit all the ladies and girls of their family and friends, spraying or spreading the perfume on their heads to keep with tradition.
The one down side to this lovely tradition is that at the end of the day most ladies and girls have a terrible headache from all the different kinds of perfume that the men use.
I always believed that there should be an Easter perfume with one scent and they should only be allowed to use that. As that was never the case I always dreaded this tradition.
But now lets get back to baking and sharing this traditional recipe. Today's Easter specialty has a walnut filling, but it could be poppy seeds, cottage cheese or cocoa.
500 grams of all-purpose flour
200 ml milk 2 1/2 cups of dry yeast 2 tbsp. of unsalted melted butter 2 tbsp. of sugar
1 lemon's zest 1 pack of vanilla sugar
2 egg yolks
350 gram of ground walnut 2 tbsp. of golden raisins 2 tbsp. honey 2 egg white beaten
3 tbsp. milk
1 lemon's zest 2 packs of vanilla sugar 1 tbsp. melted unsalted butter 1 tbsp. rum
TO BRUSH TOP
1 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
Place flour, melted butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla sugar in a large mixing bowl. Warm up milk (not hot, as it kills yeast) add a pinch of sugar and the yeast; cover and leave for about 5 minutes or until it becomes foamy.
Add this mixture to the flour mix and make a soft but not sticky dough. In case it's too sticky add a little more flour or if it is to hard add a little milk. Form a large ball, place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and couple of tea towels and leave for about 1 1/2 hours to rise.
Make certain that dough is in a warm place. Don't have the air-conditioning on or the window open as it will hinder the rising process.
Also, it's best to use a lidded mixing bowl, but in case you can't find one then you may use plastic wrap.
While your dough is rising prepare the filling by placing all the ingredients (except the egg whites) into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into filling mixture.
Lightly flower counter top and roll out dough with a flowered rolling pin to about 45 cm x 50 cm rectangle (17 x 19.5 inches). Pour filling mixture on top and spread around leaving the edges clean (about 2 cm or 1/2 inch).
Start rolling up the pastry from the smaller edge into a log. You roll it up like a salami. Press down on the ends so it is sealed, then cut with a sharp knife making certain that you are not cutting into the filling.
Grease and flour your Bundt pan and fit ends together so they could fuse while baking. Cover with plastic wrap again and leave in a warm place to rise for another 1 1/2.
Pre-heat oven to 350F (180 C) for about 45 minutes of until golden brown. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from oven and leave in Bundt pan for and 15 minutes to cool. Flip it onto wire pastry rack to cool completely.
However before leaving to cool brush with melted unsalted butter.