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Hungarian jewish bread Transylvanian jewish food
Photo credit Zingerman's Bakehouse

Somadi Kalács Recipe

A lightly sweetened Transylvanian cinnamon swirl bread.

  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp (125 g) water, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp corn oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ¾ tsp (5g) instant yeast
  • 2 ⅓ cups (325 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup (165 g ) granulated sugar
  • melted butter, for brushing dough

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp water


  1. In a large bowl, combine the water, egg yolks, corn oil, honey, yeast and half of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a thick batter. Add the remaining flour and sea salt and mix until the dough becomes a shaggy mass. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl onto a clean, unfloured work surface.

  2. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes. Scrape down the work surface as necessary; the dough will become smooth and elastic during the kneading process.

  3. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Ferment the dough for 1 hour at room temperature. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

  4. After 1 hour, turn the dough out of the bowl onto a well-floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a 13-by-15-inch (33-by-38-cm) rectangle. Position the dough in a landscape orientation (with the long side facing you), and brush the entire surface with melted butter. Place half the total cinnamon sugar on the buttered surface and spread it across the dough.

  5. Fold the long edges at the top and bottom of the dough so that they meet along the middle of the length of the rectangle. Brush the newly exposed surface with more melted butter and about half of the remaining cinnamon sugar.

  6. Grab the left side of the dough and fold it two-thirds of the way over to the right. Brush butter onto the newly exposed surface and rub half of the remaining cinnamon sugar on it. Fold the right side of the dough over to the left. Turn the dough 90 degrees counterclockwise. Brush the surface with melted butter and spread the remaining cinnamon sugar on this surface.

  7. Beginning at the side closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder. Place the loaf with the seam side down in a 4-by-8-inch (10-by-20-cm) metal loaf pan that has been brushed on the inside with melted butter.

  8. Make the egg wash by beating together the egg, egg yolk and water. Brush the loaf with some of the egg wash and allow it to proof in a draft-free area for 1½-2 hours, or until it has risen significantly in the loaf pan and responds properly to the touch test.
  9. Preheat the oven to 335°F (168°C).

  10. When the loaf is fully proofed, brush it with egg wash a second time and lightly score the surface with a paring knife in three spots to prevent air gaps. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 320°F (160°C) and bake for another 25 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, take the temperature of the loaf. Remove it from the oven at 195-200°F (90-93°C). Let cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Remove carefully, placing it onto parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Author: Sophia Gottfried
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 2 1/2 hours proofing
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Ashkenazi