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Kifli, also known as kiflici, is a traditional Hungarian crescent-shaped roll that is made with yeast dough which is rolled out and then cut into triangles which are then rolled into spirals and baked. These crescent-shaped rolls are also popular in the neighboring countries such as Serbia, where they are known as’ kifla’, as ‘rohlik’ in Czech , and as ‘rozok’ in Slovakia. These rolls of Hungary and other European countries are generally eaten with honey or jam and served with tea, milk or even a hot chocolate drink. Usually served at breakfast, the rolls get their glaze with a slight brush of egg or even water; and are coated with poppy or caraway seeds, before they are baked.

Origin of the Kifli Recipe

There is a strong belief that these baked rolls originated when the Christian forces managed to free Buda from the Ottoman occupation in the year 1686. Immediately after the victory, the bakers of the town baked and sold fresh crescent-shaped bread rolls to celebrate the victory. This trend soon caught on and ever since, the kifli has been popular in the Eastern European region.

Method of Preparation of Kifla

The preparation of kifla is quite simple and quick as well. All that is required to make these rolls is yeast dough to which butter and sour cream and in some cases even lard is added. Vegetable oil or milk is also used as cooking medium. These rolls are usually soft and fluffy, and coated with poppy seeds, caraway seeds or sesame seeds, and ideally accompanied by any gravy dish such as lutenka or even a juicy tomato salad. Some people even add cottage cheese and feta to the dough of kifli before rolling it out. The rolls can be filled with plum jam and walnuts or nutella and sprinkled with brown sugar before they are baked.

Variations of the Kifli Recipe

These rolls are quite popular in the East European region and there are certain similar recipes that are made with slightly different ingredients and are known by the name ’kifli’. These are eaten either at the end of a meal or even with the afternoon tea or coffee.

Vanillias Kifli – This is a variation of the original cookie that is made from the dough of ground nuts and not flour. This small soft cookie gets its taste and flavor mainly from walnuts; however, outside Hungary, almonds are used as the main ingredient in this recipe. Vanilla-flavored confectioner’s sugar is used for rolling the baked warm cookies before serving them.

Dios Kifli or Makos Kifli – These cookies, also known as Pozsony (the Hungarian version of Brtislava, which is the capital city of Slovak Republic), are also crescent-shaped. These sweet pastries are filled with sweet poppy or walnut paste. They are similar to the beigli in terms of flavor, but are available in different shapes and sizes.

Kifla: Trivia

  • An early 1900s Hungarian Pop group was named after this baked confectionery.
  • There are many varieties of cookies across Europe that are known by the name ‘kifli’, however, they are not the same as the original crescent shaped rolls.