Cakes of Hungary
7 hours 15 minutestotal time
240ml whole milk, heated to 43°C (110°F)
7g active dry yeast (1 packet)
600g bread flour
70g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
60g unsalted butter, softened
340g cold unsalted butter
115g unsalted butter, softened
28g unsweetened cocoa powder
135g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let stand until it starts to foam, about 10 minutes.
Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed until evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.
Add the milk mixture, the eggs, the yolk, and the butter to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Then, increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until smooth, about 4 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until roughly doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Punch down the dough to deflate. Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight, or about 8 hours.
Prepare the roll-in: Work the cold butter until it is pliable and lump free. This can be done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, being careful not to soften the butter too much. It should be smooth and malleable, but not overly soft. You can also work the butter by hand by placing it between two sheets of parchment paper and pounding it with a rolling pin. Shape the butter into a 5-inch (12.5 cm) square. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to transfer the butter onto a sheet of parchment paper and fold the parchment paper into a square around the butter, sealing it in. Use a rolling pin to evenly roll out the butter to the edges and corners of the parchment paper envelope. Refrigerate the roll-in until firm, but still pliable. The goal is for the butter to be the same consistency as the dough when rolling them together. If the butter is too hard, let it stand at room temperature. If the butter is too soft, let it chill for longer in the refrigerator.
Lock the roll-in into the dough: Sprinkle the work surface with a light dusting of flour. Roll the dough out to a 7-inch (17.5 cm) square. Place the chilled butter square in the center of the dough, offset so that four dough triangles are showing. Fold down each dough triangle to the center of the butter and seal the dough around the butter.
Perform a book fold: Roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 12 by 8 inches (30 by 20 cm), keeping the edges straight and the corners square. Sprinkle the dough and work surface lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold the two ends of the dough so they meet off center. Then, fold the dough in half, like closing a book. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Administer an envelope fold: Turn the dough 90 degrees from its position before it was refrigerated. The short-end seam should be facing you, with the long edge on the right or left. Roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 12 by 8 inches (30 by 20 cm), keeping the edges straight and the corners square. Sprinkle the dough and work surface lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold one third of the dough over the middle of the dough. Then fold the opposite end over the top, like folding a letter. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Repeat this process one more time for a total of two envelope folds.
After the final envelope fold, wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and using the dough.
Working with half the dough at a time, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 14 by 18 inches (35 by 46 cm). Sprinkle the dough and work surface lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Spread half of the softened butter (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) evenly over the dough. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cocoa powder. Use your hands to sprinkle half of the cocoa mixture evenly over the buttered dough, then rub the cocoa mixture into the butter. Tightly roll up the dough, starting from the short side and place the seam side down. Slice the rolls 1-inch (2.5cm) thick using a serrated knife. You may need to discard the ends, as they won’t have as much filling. You should get about 10 to 12 pieces. Repeat filling, rolling, and slicing the other half of the dough.
Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each roll.
Make an egg wash by mixing together the egg and the water in a small bowl. Brush the tops and sides of each roll with a light coating of the egg wash.
Cover the pans with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
Remove the plastic wrap from the pans. Apply another light coating of egg wash to the tops and sides of each roll.
Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow the rolls to cool. Then serve with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
7 hours 15 minutestotal time