Bejgli is a tradition at Christmas, New Years, and Easter. It has the tendency to split while baking--an annoyance, but that does not affect the taste, and isn't really noticeble once the roll is sliced. Nevertheless, a common topic around the holidays is whether or not someone's bejgli split or not. There's just no explanation--it just happens. Enjoy it anyway!
This recipe makes two rolls. Fill one with nuts, the other with poppyseed filling. Purchase poppyseed filling in a can in your local market, often in the Jewish foods section. We found that the dough turns out perfect if kneaded in the bread machine !!! Our machine is a one pound loaf machine.
Add all ingredients to your bread machine according to your machine's directions:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 sticks margarine (not butter)
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon sour cream
4 Tablespoons milk (add one or two more Tablespoons if dough seems dry)
1 package yeast
Let the bread machine do the work. When the machine finishes kneading, remove dough and cut evenly into two parts. If you are kneading dough yourself, it should be very smooth, and soft, easy to work with.
Nut filling--chop 1 1/2 cups walnuts in food processor till very fine but still fluffy, not a paste. Combine with 1 cup sugar (extra fine sugar is best), and 1/4 cup raisins, if desired. Some cooks soak the raisins in milk to plump them up before adding to the mixture.
Roll out dough halves to a rectangle, barely 1/4 inch thick. The rectangle should be about as wide as a typical baking sheet. Spread the nut filling on the rectangle but leave an uncovered margin around the entire edge of at least 1 1/2 inch. This helps to prevent leaking. Begin rolling up on the long edge nearest you. After one roll, fold in the sides and continue rolling carefull until the roll is completed. Place seam side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
Fill the poppyseed roll the same way. Poppy seed has a much greater tendency to leak/split the roll. If you don't put in enough, it doesn't taste good--put in too much and it leaks--go figure!!! It often takes one full can, plus just about two more spoonsful from a second can--also an annoyance! One can isn't enough, two are too much!!! Many cooks have complained about this too. The remaining filling can be used to fill nut horns or other pastries.
Brush rolls with egg white or coffee before baking.
Bake rolls at 350 for 35 minutes (check at 30 min) minutes or just until a nice medium brown. Do not overbake. Let cool on tray before slicing. The slices toward the ends will not have much filling. Bejgli stays delicious for at least a week.