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Beigli – Traditional Hungarian Nut Rolls

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Beigli – a traditional Hungarian pastry roll filled with walnuts, a real treat for Christmas!

These delicious traditional Hungarian nut rolls or beigli are something you definitely have to try!

hungarian nut rolls beigli

I’ve made them for the first time a few months ago just to give them a try and see if they make a suitable post for the blog and we loved them so much, I made them twice since, both times to bring to some parties. Each time they were gone in a flash and I had to hand out the recipe to several people.

There are two kinds of beigli or Hungarian pastry rolls: the rolls filled with a poppy seed filling (which I have to try soon) and this walnut version, which is kind of similar to the Romanian Sweet Bread with Walnuts – Cozonac that my grandmother always used to make for Christmas and Easter in Romania.

Maybe the Hungarian beigli was the inspiration for the Romanian cozonac, I cannot say, but they are both really delicious! You will find similar pastry rolls filled with poppy seeds or walnuts all over Eastern Europe, so I think it would be really difficult to determine where exactly they originate from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppy_seed_roll

How to make the pastry for Beigli?

To make the pastry I used a recipe found here (in Romanian). I liked the fact that they used lard, I just happened to have half a pack in the fridge leftover from making this Apricot Jam Crumble Cake with Walnuts again.

I’ve actually enjoyed baking with lard lately, I’ve rarely ever used it in the past, but after reading a bit online about the benefits of cooking and baking with lard, I kept searching for recipes using it. Luckily, I have my old Romanian cookbooks, they do contain quite a few recipes using lard, it was the normal fat to use half a century ago, too bad that changed.

If you like to read more about lard and why using it in your cooking and baking might be a good idea (well, unless you are a vegetarian) have a look at this article from The Guardian, I found it great!

Food processor:

  • Let the lard come to room temperature. Place it together with the flour in the food processor and pulse until mixed.
  • Dissolve the fresh yeast and the sugar in the lukewarm milk. If using instant yeast, mix it with the flour without mixing it first with the milk
  • Add the fresh yeast-milk mixture to the flour-lard mixture and add the egg yolk, whole egg and salt. If using instant yeast, add the lukewarm milk now as well.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth and doesn’t stick to the walls of the machine anymore, 2-3 minutes or depending on the instructions of your food processor. Place the dough on the working surface and knead shortly with the hands. Form a ball.

No food processor:

  • Cut the lard into the flour using a butter knife. Add the lard cut in small pieces to the flour and keep cutting through it with a knife until roughly incorporated.
  • Add the fresh yeast, which you have dissolved in milk (or the instant yeast mixed with the flour) and the rest of the ingredients needed for the dough.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands anymore. Form a ball.
  • Place the dough into a large bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 40-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
beigli hungarian nut rolls

How to make the filling?

  • Place the ground walnuts, sugar and milk in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  • Take off the heat, let cool for about 5 minutes, then add the rum (or rum aroma), vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract/aroma) and the lightly beaten egg whites.
  • Mix well.

How to form a nut roll?

  • Place the dough on the working surface and knead shortly again. Divide it into two equal parts.
  • Roll one half of the dough with a rolling pin to form a rectangle of about 35×28 cm/ 14×11 inches.
  • Spread ½ of the walnut filling onto the rectangle leaving about 2 cm/0.8-inch space at the bottom and the sides of the rectangle and about 5 cm/ 2 inches space at the top of the dough rectangle.
  • Fold the sides of the dough over the filling to keep it from coming out during the baking. Roll the pastry starting at the bottom side and carefully fold the upper side over the roll, pressing gently to seal the roll as tightly as possible.
  • Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper, smooth side up and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Repeat with the second dough portion and the remaining walnut filling.

Egg wash:

  • Mix the leftover egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the pastry with this mixture and make some holes on the top of the beigli using a fork. This will keep them from splitting.
how to roll hungarian nut roll
how to roll hungarian nut roll

More rolls

Cinnamon Puff Pastry Rolls

Sweet Rolls with Cinnamon Sugar

Kanelbullar

Swirl Cookies

Cream Roll with Strawberries

beigli or hungarian nut roll sliced on a the table

Beigli - Traditional Hungarian Nut Rolls

Yield: 2 loaves

Beigli – a traditional Hungarian pastry roll filled with walnuts, a real treat for Christmas!

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 530 g/ 18.7 oz/ 4 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ 1/2 cup lard, room temperature
  • 25 g/ 0.9 oz fresh yeast or 1 sachet (7 g/ 0.25 oz) instant dry yeast
  • 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • Walnut filling:
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 2 cups ground walnuts
  • 100 ml/ 3.4 fl.oz/ 1/3 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons milk
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum (or a few drops rum aroma)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or a few drops vanilla extract/aroma)
  • 2 egg whites (one from the pastry, one from the egg needed for brushing the pastry)
  • Egg wash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

Dough:

    1. Place the flour and the soft lard in the food processor. Pulse until mixed.
    2. Dissolve the fresh yeast and the sugar in the lukewarm milk. If using instant yeast give it to the flour.
    3. Add the yeast-milk mixture to the flour and lard and add the egg yolk, whole egg, and salt. If using instant yeast, add the lukewarm milk now as well.
    4. Knead until the dough is smooth and doesn't stick to the walls of the machine anymore. Place the dough on the working surface and knead shortly with the hands. Form a ball.
    5. If making the dough without a food processor, mix the flour and the lard with the help of a butter knife. Add the lard in small pieces to the flour and keep cutting through it with a knife until roughly incorporated. Add the dissolved yeast and the rest of the ingredients and knead until the dough is
      smooth and doesn't stick to your hands anymore. Form a ball.
    6. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 40-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Nut filling:

    1. Place the ground walnuts, sugar, and milk in a small pot and bring to a boil.
    2. Take off the heat, let cool for about 5 minutes, then add the rum (or rum aroma), vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract/aroma), and the lightly beaten egg whites.
    3. Mix well.

Beigli:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Place the dough on the working surface and knead shortly again. Divide it into two equal parts.
    3. Roll half of the dough with a rolling pin to form a rectangle of about 35x28 cm/ 14x11 inches.
    4. Spread ½ of the walnut filling onto the rectangle leaving about 2 cm/0.8-inch space at the bottom and the sides of the rectangle and about 5 cm/ 2 inches space at the top of the dough rectangle.
    5. Fold the sides of the dough over the filling to keep it from coming out during the baking. Roll the pastry starting at the bottom side and carefully fold the upper side over the roll, pressing gently to seal the roll as tightly as possible.
    6. Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper, smooth side up and let rest for about 15 minutes.
    7. Repeat with the second dough portion and the remaining walnut filling.

Egg wash:

    1. Mix the leftover egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk. Brush the pastry with this mixture and make some holes on the top of the beigli using a fork. This will keep them from splitting.

    Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until deeply golden and cooked through.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 thick slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

Trudy A Herbst

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Correct spelling is Bejgli and has either walnut or poppyseed filling.

Janet Nyitray

Friday 11th of December 2020

I followed the pastry to a tee and it’s so dry and tough feeling what could my problem be?

Adina

Saturday 12th of December 2020

Hi Janet. I am sorry it didn't turn out the way it is supposed to. It is difficult to say what went wrong from afar, the only thing I can think of is that the oven got too hot, and this way the loaf was overbaked.

Katalin Illes

Saturday 5th of December 2020

The eggs gives it a shine

Donna Hutchinson

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Can you substitute pecans for the walnuts in this recipe?

Adina

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

I never did because pecans are pretty much non-existent in Eastern European cuisine. But from a technical point of view, it should work.

Suzanne

Monday 25th of November 2019

Why does the recipe end with egg wash on raw dough? I know you’re supposed to bake it but for some reason that information is not included

Adina

Monday 25th of November 2019

Hi Suzanne, of course there is. There is one last sentence at the end after the line regarding the egg wash.

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